In spring, wild garlic is a seasonal ingredient on many menus. The useful life of the tasty can be considerably extended if parts of the plant are preserved by pickling.
Be careful when harvesting wild wild garlic.
Before pickling, it is important to harvest wild garlic at the right time. The still closed buds can be collected only during a few days in March or April. The fresh green leaves of wild garlic have the most pleasant aroma in spring, but look confusingly similar to some poisonous plants. These plants are:
- the poisonous Aaron’s bane
- the lily of the valley growing from the ground at the same time
- the autumn crocus
If you do not specifically plant your wild garlic for cooking in the garden, but collect it in the forest, then you should definitely carry out an odor test of the leaves. Rub a leaf between your fingers and identify the real wild garlic by its typical garlicky smell.
Preserving the leaves
The leaves of bear’s leek can be kept fresh for only a few days, even in the refrigerator. However, they can be preserved by preserving them in olive oil. To do this, wash the raw leaves and chop them to a fine chop size. Then mix them with high-quality olive oil and a little salt. This mixture will keep in screw-top jars in the refrigerator for about two to three months and can be used as a seasoning ingredient in various recipes.
Obtaining caper substitute from the buds of bear’s leek
The buds of hogweed collected in time before flowering can be processed into a caper-like delicacy. To do this, boil the capers with a little herb vinegar and season with salt and spices as desired. After about three days, the herb vinegar is boiled up again and put back into the jars with the wild garlic buds. About two weeks of storage in dark and cool conditions are sufficient until the resulting wild garlic capers can be used as a spicy appetizer or delicious bread topping.
Tips & Tricks
When preserving wild garlic, make sure to only use wild garlic that has been harvested as fresh as possible. Wild garlic that has already wilted will no longer produce good results when pickled.