Wild garlic – the healing herald of spring

Especially at this time of year in Europe, it is again spreading its unmistakable garlic scent in the forests – wild garlic, which belongs to the onion family (Alliaceae). Wild garlic is not only appreciated by many people for its pungent, fresh taste in the kitchen, but it is also used as a remedy. Its numerous, mainly sulphurous essential oils have a positive effect on digestion, the respiratory tract, the liver, the gall bladder, the intestines and the stomach. Wild garlic is also used to treat arteriosclerosis, hypertension and intestinal diseases, it stimulates the metabolism, regulates cholesterol levels and even helps with worm infestation.

For a perfect culinary treat, connoisseurs gather their stocks of wild garlic before the plant blossoms. Now is just the right time. Wild garlic develops its strongest effect when eaten raw and fresh, simply sprinkled on bread or mixed with curd cheese or cream cheese. It can also be finely chopped and added to salads, sauces and vegetables and refines potato and rice dishes or even a pasta, spaetzle or gnocchi dough. Cooked, however, the wild garlic loses a little of its effects. Wild garlic should not be dried at all, as it loses all its strength. However, if you want to extend the wild garlic season a little, you can preserve the herb by soaking it in oil, vinegar or salt or by freezing it.

RECIPES WITH WILD GARLIC

Wild garlic butter:
Chop 20-25 wild garlic leaves very finely, salt them, add 1 teaspoon lemon juice, let stand for 15 minutes until juice has formed. Then mix under 250 g soft organic raw milk butter. Good on bread or baguette, with spaghetti, vegetables, fish and meat.
Tip: To extend the wild garlic season, freeze the finished wild garlic butter in small portions.

Wild garlic paste:
Cut 150 g fresh wild garlic leaves very finely and mix with 150 ml cold-pressed organic olive oil and 1 tbsp. salt, pour into a screw glass and cover with a layer of olive oil (approx. 1 cm), put in a cool place. The paste will keep for at least 1/2 year. For a quick pesto, add sunflower or pine nuts to the wild garlic paste as desired, some juice or zest from a lemon and grated Parmesan cheese.

Wild garlic salt:
First pour 1 cm of rock salt into a screw glass, then 1 cm of finely chopped wild garlic. Always alternate between salt and wild garlic, adding salt as the last layer. Then let it rest for about 2 months in a cool place (storeroom, cellar).
After resting, pour the salt out of the glass, mix everything, possibly cut it down in a food processor, fill it into smaller glasses, label it and enjoy or give it as a present.

Wild garlic oil:
Put 2 handfuls of finely chopped wild garlic leaves into 1 litre of cold-pressed organic olive oil, leave to stand for about 2-3 weeks and then drain.

Wild garlic vinegar:
Add 1 handful of chopped wild garlic leaves to 1 litre of organic cider vinegar and leave to stand for 2-3 weeks, then drain. Wild garlic vinegar not only tastes good in salads, but is also suitable for detoxification (intestinal cleansing): Pour 1-2 tbsp. wild garlic vinegar into a cup of warm water, drink in the morning on an empty stomach for 4-6 weeks.

Wild garlic cough remedy:
Chop 1 handful of wild garlic leaves very finely, blanch with 100 ml water, add 2 tbsp. organic honey to the lukewarm liquid, leave to stand for half an hour, drain and take 1 tsp. at hourly intervals.

Wild garlic dip:
Mix 1 cup of sour cream ( 250 g), 1 cup of yoghurt ( 250 g) and 1 cup of crème fraîche (250 g) in a bowl. Add 1 finely chopped shallot or onion, 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, 1 bunch of finely chopped wild garlic, salt, pepper, some mustard and the juice of 1/2 lemon.
Tip: Tastes almost like a Greek tzatziki when mixed with half a roughly grated cucumber.

Fine wild garlic soup:
Wash 500 g wild garlic, drain and steam in 80 g butter or clarified butter until transparent. Grate 4 raw potatoes and add. Season with salt, pepper, some nutmeg and 1 pinch of sugar. Add 1 litre of vegetable soup (broth) and cook for about 15 minutes at low heat. Then puree and thicken the soup with 1 egg yolk and 3/4 cup of crème fraîche or cream. Do not boil up after thickening.
Tip: Serve with roasted bread or wholegrain bread cubes.

Wild garlic omelet:
Boil 2 bunches of wild garlic briefly, drain and chop finely.
Cut 200 g ham into small cubes, sauté in a pan with some butter or clarified butter, add the wild garlic and steam for 2 minutes.
Mix 4 eggs with 100 ml milk, 100 ml cream, salt, pepper and some grated nutmeg and pour over the wild garlic mixture, sprinkle with 100 g grated mountain cheese.
Bake in the oven at 220 °C for 20 minutes or fry in a pan.
Tip: This omelette is also very good cold as a small snack.