Trill’s wild garlic grows deep in the forest, close to the river and when it awakens in spring it transforms the forest floor to green and fills the air with its pungent aroma.
The leaves make wonderful pestos, butters and are a great addition as a dressing for a wild spring salad of dandelion leaves, pennywort and ground elder. The roots are also edible, scrubbed, poached in milk and warmed in good butter. Once the leaves are fully grown, the plant goes to flower and after the flower comes my favourite part, the seeds.
To pick the seeds wait until the petals begin to fall, this is when they are full off flavour and packed full of juice. I love to gently sauté these little flavour bombs in butter and serve them with squid, lemon and a pinch of cayenne. This recipe allows us to preserve them for later in the year. It also means that we can add to the larder of native ingredients. They’re salty, sour & delicious!
After collecting the seed heads, simply snip of the small seeds; don’t worry if there’s a little stalk left on the seeds, it’s all edible. Firstly, in a non-metallic container generously sprinkle the seeds with sea salt, cover the container and place in the fridge. Leave the seeds for two weeks to cure. After two weeks, empty the seeds into a sieve. The salt will be wet but can be reused. Wash the salty seeds under the cold tap. Allow to drip dry for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, make your pickling liquid.
For 200g of seeds you will need roughly 250ml pickling liquid
200mL cider vinegar
100g sugar of your choice
1 bay leaf (optional)
A pinch of black pepper
1 sprig rosemary (optional)
Boil all the ingredients together. Add the wild garlic seeds and return to the boil, then quickly pour into sterilised jars and seal immediately.
Store in a cool place for one month before using. They will last for one year.