If you’re a fan of pick-your-own, have you considered wild garlic as your veg of choice? You can find it growing in woodlands up and down the UK, often in amongst the bluebells, from April to June.
Wild garlic is quite different from the papery bulbs we’re used to seeing in the supermarket and tastes like a cross between garlic and chives. Its soft green leaves are similar in appearance to those of lily-of-the-valley and the pungent aroma draws you to the woodland areas where it grows in abundance.
It’s delicious eaten raw in salads as it doesn’t have the harsh kick of the domestic variety, or you can cook it alongside roast meats or include it in risotto for a subtle extra flavour dimension.
If you don’t want to track down your own wild garlic, order some as part of the Riverford home-delivered organic veg boxes (riverford.co.uk).
Their expert pickers shared this advice when I went picking at their farm in Totnes, Devon, in April:
• Don’t pull up the bulb as this means the plant won’t come back next season, so cut just the leaves, close to the base.
• Take care not to harvest any other unidentifiable plants along with the garlic, as some may be toxic.
• Wild garlic is at its best before its delicate white flowers appear.
If you want to try its subtle flavour in an every day recipe, this Riverford Organic Farm frittata recipe is perfect for a light lunch or supper.
Leek and wild garlic frittata with tomatoes and ricotta
Cuts into 4 wedges
Cooking spray oil
250g (2 small to medium) leeks, finely sliced (use the green parts too)
6 wild garlic leaves, finely shredded
6 tomatoes, finely chopped
4 eggs, beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Spray a small to medium frying pan with cooking oil. Add the leeks and gently cook for 8–10 min until soft.
2 Add the wild garlic and cook for another 2 mins. Add the tomatoes.
3 Mix the beaten eggs with the ricotta in a small jug or bowl and season with freshly ground black pepper. Pour into the leek mixture and tilt the pan until the base is covered and the mixture is evenly distributed.
4 Cook on the hob for 2-3 mins, until the base has just set, then finish the top under the grill or in the oven.
Per serving: 176 kcals, 12.6g protein, 6.8g carbs, 6.3g sugar, 11.3g fat, 4.7g sat fat, 3.8g fibre, 0.3g salt
Low sat fat, High protein, Low salt