At this time of year the woodlands are teeming with wild garlic, also known as ramsons (Allium ursinum). They’re a relative of chives, a British native and also of garlic: same genus different species. They grow in abundance at this time of year (March/April) in predominantly deciduous woodlands, preferring damp soils. They are therefore, ubiquitous in Scotland! They are popularly collected when the leaves are fully developed, and can be used for making wild garlic pesto, added to soups and salads. Here is a great guide if you wish to know more about identification; Galloway Wild Foods.
I collected these one day on the way home from nursery drop off, along the River Kelvin in Glasgow. I used a recipe from Riverford organic farmers. I used pine nuts instead of hazelnuts, but otherwise followed the recipe, which made 2 small kilner jars full. I have happily been eating it everyday since. Packed full of green goodness and micronutrients, that only wild plants do, its a great boost for this time of year.
I bought the ramsons home, washed then, roughly chopped them, weighed out 100g and whacked them in a blender with the following ingredients:
- 50g freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 50g pine nuts
- 100ml olive oil
- lemon juice to taste
- salt and pepper