This Wild Garlic Buds Pickle is a great way to utilise the wild garlic buds just before they open in to flower, we use these like a garlic version of capers and they work well as a garnish to salads, but my absolute favourite is to chuck them on top of pizza.
Words from Forager Joanna
- Wild garlic flower buds
- Bay leaves
- Mustard seeds
Method for making Wild Garlic Buds Pickle
- Pickling solution:1 cup vinegar, 2 cups water, 2-3 bay leaves, 2 tea spoons of mustard seeds, 1 tea spoon of salt, 3 spoons of sugar (the sweetness is totally up to your taste)✨
- Wash wild garlic buds
- Put them tightly into the sterilised jars
- Pour with the pickling solution
- I pasteurise my pickles, by placing the jars in a big pan. I add some water and simmer them for 12-15 mins. You can probably skip this step by pouring hot solution over the buds.
- Tips or extra notes: They need to be stored for at least 2 weeks before opening
More on Wild Garlic
Reports of toxicity if eating sacks full, but such outcomes no doubt apply to many foods eaten to excess.
Could be confused with
The leaves could potentially be confused with both the poisonous leaves of Lilly of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) and Lords and Ladies (Arum maculatum), although neither of these smell of garlic. The biggest risk is to accidentally gather up Lords and Ladies leaves through being inattentive whilst collecting garlic leaves as these often grow together.
Range and Distribution
Wild garlic is found all over Europe, most of Asia and North America.
It’s typically found in broad-leaved woodland, enjoying a moist verge, preferring but not solely found on acidic soil. It tends to leaf and flower before the broad-leaved trees come into leaf and gives the whole woodland an amazing smell of garlic.
Wild garlic is a bulbous, perennial plant, going into leaf from as early as January. The key identification feature with this plant is that the whole thing absolutely stinks of garlic!
Its leaves are spear-shaped with a pointed tip and can range from 5-15cms in length and 3-6cm wide.
Each plant has one single flower head that sits on top of a solitary stem, shooting up from the centre of the connecting leaves and looks like a white pompom sat on top of a pole. The white flower contains 6 petals ranging from 0.5-1cm in diameter.
The pompom of flowers will turn into a pom pom of seeds, each seed looks like miniature peach with a sold in the middle.
The root resembles that of a small but elongated clove of garlic.
Roots and bulb: best harvested when the plant is not in leaf from June-January. Use the bulb as regular garlic although be aware that it is somewhat fibrous. The roots can be dried and powdered to be used as a seasoning. The bulbs also pickle well.
Stem/leaves (early Spring): salad item, cooked as a vegetable, to flavour oil, as a wrap, for pesto, leaf curd.
Flower bud (Feb/March): tempura (using stem as handle), pickled.
Flower (March/April): salads, as a garnish.
Immature seeds (May/June): salads, garnish, pickled.
Mature seeds (May/June): as a condiment or spice, for sprouting.
Bulb (July/March): as regular garlic clove