Quite an aromatic and pungent flavour greets you in many of the woods around here at this time of year. The smell of wild garlic which is vaguely disorientating outside of a kitchen. This year I thought I must pick some, so I headed off this morning for some foraging in my favourite bluebell wood which runs along the Worfe South of Shifnal. It is the leaves you are after although the bulbs are apparently edible too but rather fiddly and probably best to leave in the ground to grow back next year
It's very pretty and even more so when the white alium flowers emerge, but it is easy to spot the sword shaped leaves that cover the woods floor in damp areas and often with bluebells.
You can use it as you would spinach and it makes a great pesto, so time to replace those plastic packs of imported basil and head to the woods. It's also very good for you, garlic has antibacterial, antibiotic and possibly antiviral properties, and it also contains vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and copper. Studies have also shown that it may help reduce blood pressure too so tuck in. Did I mention it is absolutely free, and definitely won't be affected by the dare I say it - the B word.
You can try growing it in your garden if you have the right conditions but apparently it is highly invasive so best grownin a pot.
Here is a recipe for wild garlic pesto is from Riverford
100g wild garlic leaves
50g hazelnuts shelled and roasted
a few splashes of olive oil
a squeeze of loemon
salt and pepper
Put all ingredients in a blender and whizz until you have a paste.