Species Of The Week Number 27: Wild Garlic

Wild garlic is abundant in the Meanwood Valley at the moment. Its not flowering as yet but now is the very best time for a spot of urban foraging - and you will be able to easily identify it from the garlicky scent. Whilst the leaves are young and fresh it can be used in many recipes, eaten raw or as a replacement for spinach. Don't think about using the bulbs though as wild garlic is a protected species so pinching the bulbs is illegal.

What did the Romans do for us? Well, in her book 'The Yorkshire Forager' Alysia Vasey recounts a tale that Wild Garlic came to Yorkshire with the Romans as they planted it along what is now the A1 to feed the troops and it spread to Yorkshire woodlands.

The latin name for Wild Garlic is Allium ursinum. The ursinum refers to the fact that brown bears are really partial to the plant - 'ursine' means relating to bears. You might have seen plans to renovate the victorian bear pit on Cardigan Road recently? I don't think they are planning to populate it with live bears but, if they did and one escaped, I would certainly be looking for it Meanwood's garlic glades. And what a coup that would be for the Meanwood Valley Bioblitz (ps current total - 296 species)!

Back to the culinary uses, here is a recipe from the Woodland Trust for Wild Garlic pesto: 100g wild garlic leaves, 50g parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast for a vegan), 50g toasted pine nuts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil + Lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Grind it up in a pestle, or whizz in a processor. I tried it this week and its yum! #MeanwoodPesto

Publicado el 29 de marzo de 2023 por clunym clunym


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