Pretty Edible Flowers- Wild Garlic

Joan over at retirement and beyond posted at the weekend about beautiful flowers in the Irish countryside. Stunning bluebells (I was reading her post wishing we had more here at The Glen House) and wild garlic (oh how pretty I thought)…. HANG ON A MINUTE, they look like the white flowers growing all around The Glen House. I dashed home to pick a bit, wash it and try….. OH WOW!!

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So unbeknownst to me, this incredible herb and salad leaf has been growing all around. The delicate white flowers on long, grass-like stems are like a white bluebell, however the white flower has a slight garlicy smell.

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Seemingly, there are dozens of similar plants called ‘wild garlic’ that are grown across the world. The Irish one grows in damp woodland as a floor covering, which creates a fantastic spectacle of white blooms appearing in April and May.

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When picking your wild garlic, be sure to only pick healthy, undamaged specimens and give them a good wash before using. I used scissors to snip the garlic off at the base.

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The whole of the plant is edible; the flowers have a mild, garlicky flavour and are perfect for salads and garnishes. The long, grass-like leaves can be snipped into salads and savoury dishes as you would use chives. Or as I did, blitzed up as a pesto or sauces. The bulbs can be sautéed up like shallots, or leave them in the ground for next year’s crop!

Here’s my wild garlic pesto recipe, I adapted it from Donal Skehan.

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50g of Parmesan cheese, grated
140ml of extra virgin olive oil
40g of pine nuts
80g of wild garlic leaves, stems cut off, washed and dried
Sea salt and ground black pepper

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Having thoroughly washed the wild garlic, place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.

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Once blitzed, I added a little more oil to loosen the mixture up.

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Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and taste.

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Transfer to clean jars and top with an extra drizzle of oil to create a seal. The jars will keep in the fridge for at least one week. And hey presto I have pesto!

Melissa xx

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36 thoughts on “Pretty Edible Flowers- Wild Garlic

  1. They are lovely plants (and flowers), but don’t be alarmed when they disappear during the summer. It’s part of the natural process and they’ll reappear next spring. And…they spread. I started out with a few plants and now have a carpet of them in the corner of the herb garden. I haven’t made pesto with mine, but it’s a brilliant idea.

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  2. Where did you find the pine nuts? I think they are essential to pesto, but sooo expensive in Tesco 😦 We will be hunting for some wild garlic as soon as possible! I’ll probably just dig it up and plant it at home!

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      • I only just learned there is a good Asian market in Ballyhaunis where I work – but I DETEST driving in Ballyhaunis! It’s nearly as bad as where I live but with more corners (but just as many eejits who think parking means abandoning the car in the middle of the road). I always wondered where pine nuts were sourced – somehow I thought they were North American!

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  3. There’s this huge piece of land next to my house which is now filled with varieties of wild flowers. I take a walk in the morning in that field and I’m sure I’ve seen ‘wild garlic’ plants there. But I didn’t know their ‘edible’ identity! Thanks a ton for introducing them to us!
    Your smooth, silky pesto sounds/looks incredibly luscious and inviting. Pretty too 🙂

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  4. I have wild garlic growing in my garden. we had to buy them in a special garden exhibition because you can find them in the wild in Belgium but you don’t see them in the stores or so! I will make this beautiful green pesto out of them today! Yeahh! x

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  5. Wow – your photos are fantastic! You deserve all the awards you’re getting these days. We’ll done. I only wish I had more time for reading more posts and linking to the others you mention.

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  6. Pingback: In My Herb Garden & Dairy [Kitchen] | My Kitchen Witch

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