Pickled Wild Garlic Buds Recipe
Do you love Wild Garlic season? Me too. Did you know that Wild Garlic flowers and seed pods are edible as well as the leaves? Well they are, and they're just as delicious. It is wonderful to preserve the different elements of this delicious plant when it's in season, so you can carry on enjoying it through the rest of the year. If you knew that already and you're looking for a Pickled Wild Garlic Buds Recipe, you've come to the right place!
The Wild Garlic Season in the UK
The season for Wild Garlic, or Ramsons as they are also known, is quite short - March until late June in these parts. The leaves start appearing in late winter/early Spring. When young and the plants haven't yet flowered, the leaves are at their best for eating raw, or lightly cooked. As the leaves start getting bigger, we still use them chopped up in scones, Wild Garlic Focaccia Bread and pesto. The pretty white flowers are also lovely in salads. And you can even eat the buds, just before the flowers burst out. They are delicious pickled. Finally, you can even pickle the seed pods at the end of the Wild Garlic season - known as Wild Garlic Capers.
Wild Garlic Buds
The buds are ready for picking in the South of England right now, which is the third week in April. If you look at a patch of Wild Garlic which hasn't gone into flower yet, you may not spot the buds. However if your timing is right and you run your hands through the leaves, there they are.
We have huge patches of wild garlic around where we live. We also have a patch of our own at our allotment - you too might be interested in growing your own Wild Garlic.
Each Wild Garlic plant could have as many as 8-10 buds each. So if you're lucky enough to find an enormous patch of it, it will take you no time at all to pick enough for a jar of Pickled Wild Garlic Buds.
The buds are teardrop shaped and, when they're fat and about to pop, you'll spy the flowers inside. Some people remove the flowers from the green pod to pickle them, which is another option. We like ours whole, dotted in salads and added to stir frys. Yum. It also makes Pickled Wild Garlic Buds an easy and quick recipe. We collected ours last night and they were in the jar in their gorgeous sweet and sour pickling juice within a couple of hours of being picked.
Pickled Wild Garlic Buds Recipe
Enough to make one full jam jar.
100g freshly picked Wild Garlic Buds
150ml white wine vinegar
30g sugar - I like Golden Granulated Sugar as it's a little less processed than pure white, but any sugar will do
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
1 pinch sea salt
1 teaspoon dried ginger powder
Half a teaspoon of coriander seeds
You will also need:
A standard 380ml jam jar with non-corrosive lid, suitable for pickles
A small stainless steel saucepan (it needs to be stainless steel because of the corrosive nature of the vinegar)
Trim the stalks from the buds as, like many flower stems, they can be a bit woody to eat.
Put the prepared buds into a sieve and wash them under cold running water.
Put the sieve over a pan or bowl for a while to let as much water drain from them as possible.
Meanwhile sterilise your clean jar in the oven and the lid in a pan of boiling water using the sterilising method we recommend, or whichever is your preferred way.
Put the vinegar, water and spices into a small saucepan and heat to the boil.
Pack the buds tightly into your sterilised jar leaving 1cm or so at the top.
Pour the pickling liquid over the buds.
Press the pods down with a spoon and give the jar a couple of taps on the side to remove any air bubbles.
Put the lid on.
Put aside for 2 weeks to a month.
Open and enjoy in salads, stir frys or straight out of the jar!
Once you open them, your pickled wild garlic buds will last around 6 months in the fridge.
Recommended Books about Foraged Foods and Pickling
Wild Food: A Complete Guide for Foragers by Roger Phillips
The Forager's Calendar: A Seasonal Guide to Nature's Wild Harvests by John Wright
Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No 2 by Pam Corbin
Other Almost Off Grid Favourites
Growing Thai Basil from Supermarket Cuttings
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