Wild Garlic

Allium ursinum carpets ancient woodlands in the UK each Spring. It makes a beautiful sight  – but did you know it is also edible? Broad leaved wild garlic, or more commonly known as Ramsons grows up to 45cm in height in damp woodland. Both the leaves and flowers are edible. Leaves appear in March and taste delicious when picked young. The white flowers emerge in April to June. All parts of the plant have a potent garlic scent and can even be smelt in the woods whilst walking. It was used traditionally throughout European countries as a spring tonic due to its blood purifying properties which is also thought to lower cholesterol. In addition it was occasionally used as a disinfectant. Despite its strong smell it has a more mellow taste than conventional cooking garlic.  It spreads by underground bulbs though take care where you plant it as it can spread easily.  Why not whizz up olive oil, parmesan, pine nuts and young leaves to create your very own wild garlic pesto? You can find lots of other recipes on the BBC Good Food website. 

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