Finally, after promising to give you info on this wonderful herb, I managed to get out into the woods and go collecting. The weather let up for about an hour or so and hubby and I rushed into the woods to check if there would be anything to collect. Lo-and Behold, I was lucky and managed to collect a couple of bags full of Wild Ramsons (wild garlic / Bärlauch in German) for my in-laws and ourselves.
This will belong to a series of posts that I will continue with throughout my year. I will tell you all about the plants I come across in nature, and give you interesting tidbits and where I can - recipes. Please feel free to add to the info or share your own if you have of each of the plants that I will be discussing.
So lets start with the basics:
The latin name is Allium Ursinum.
The leaves of the plant become visible from the middle of April onwards. It is advisable to collect the leaves before the blossoms start to show themselves as it loses much of its' healing properties once they are in bloom.
It is wonderful for any kind of stomach and/or intestinal issue, and can also be used to help generate an appetite and has similar traits to household garlic. The oldwives tale related to this herb is that it helps to sink blood pressure and helps with arteriosclerosis.
If you are wanting to go out and collect your own Wild Garlic here is a BIG warning!!!
Generally, Wild Ramsons grows next to its' VERY poisonous neighbour Meadow Safron (Colchicum autumnale).
There is a sure-proof way to identify the REAL thing and that is by its' extremely fragrant leaves. Wild Ramsons has the most amazing "garlicy" smell - it is wonderful. The Meadow Safron smells like nothing. Although these two plants can be mistaken I find it easy to notice which is which and you will too after a while. The Wild Ramsons have more of a broader leaf whereas the Meadow Safron's leaves are much thinner. The whorls on the two plants are also different.
Please be advised that if you are not sure what you are collecting rather leave it be and if you live in Europe, you can generally find the Wild Ramsons on sale in your local supermarket when they are available.
So now you have collected your greens - what to do with them?
Well, I have a couple of things I do with mine.
I dehyrdate some of the leaves as I like to add this to my seasoning for the added properties, as well as the wonderful aroma it gives the food.
I also freeze a bag full so that if I want to make a pesto or paste at a later stage of the year I can. Be sure to label your bag and date it. I generally do not wash the leaves for this as they become quite difficult to separate once frozen if washed.
I also make a bottle of paste that I can add to marinades, cooking etc. which I keep in the fridge.
To do this, take some washed leaves - about 100g, (if less then vary you other ingredients till it tastes good), roughly 10g of salt and about 4 Tablespoons of EV Olive Oil.
Add all ingredients to the kitchen mixer and whiz until you get a pastey consistency.
Place in a bottle and label. Keep in the fridge and use as necessary. As long as there is enough oil in the paste it will help the herb not to go mouldy.
To round off:
Here is a recipe for Wild Ramsons Pesto
125g Wild Ramsons washed
30g Parmesan Cheese grated
50g Pine Nuts slightly roasted
125ml Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to the kitchen machine and whiz until you have a fine pesto-like mixture. You can bottle as I did the paste above for when you want to make pasta or use straight away. Once pasta is cooked, add as much as you would like to the warm rinsed pasta. Mix and serve - Delicious!!
Be sure to come by next week where I will be talking about Dandelions.
Have you got any tips or tricks for the household to share? A good recipe, a tradition? I invite you to share below. Please be sure to link back to this site. You may use the image below. Please visit other linked sites to show support. Thanks - Till next week happy Krafting!