When I pick wild garlic I do it with excitement. Quite a few things end up in my basket which are not wild garlic leaves; lots of stem, the odd bit of moss, and many of the garlic bud flowers which grow so abundantly early in the season.
The last time I picked a haul of wild garlic I found I had so many flower buds in with the leaves, I felt it would have been a waste to discard them to the compost heap. So I spent some time investigating what you could do with them, and ended up coming across this interesting, simple, cheap and frankly totally delicious recipe which I am going to share with you now.
Wild Garlic Pickles – Ingredients
- 400ml of apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp of sugar
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peppercorns (any colour, I used black)
- Wash and dry your wild garlic buds very well, as with any foraged food!
- Place the vinegar, sugar and spices in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove it from the heat as soon as it reaches the boil and the sugar is dissolved.
- Place the garlic buds and stems into your sterilised jars. (You can sterilise jars well by placing them in the dishwasher.) You can chop the garlic stems neatly to fit so they look beautiful, or you can take a practical approach as I do and stuff them in.
- Pour over the hot vinegar and spices and immediately seal the jars. Leave them to cool down as they will be very hot to touch!
- Leave the wild garlic buds to pickle for at least two weeks and the longer you can leave them the better. They will keep well for months in a cool, dark place but once they have been opened should be kept in the fridge and used within a few weeks.
They retain a delicious crunch and a strong, almost spicy flavour which goes fantastically well with mature cheese, or they would be very suitable to serve at a barbecue. Personally, I will readily admit to eating them out of the jar! What do you think? If you try this recipe, let me know in the comments below.