Photography, Styling & Words: © Anna Rubingh
Gepubliceerd in Landleven 04-2022
Wild garlic is a plant with an unmistakable onion-like scent. The plant appears in spring and flowers with its beautiful white flowers at the end of April and the beginning of May showing a beautiful, lush carpet of white flowers with a light onion scent. They like nutritious woodland soil and shade, which is why they are found in the wild in forest throughout Europe. But they can also be found in various gardens and parks. Wild garlic is becoming an increasingly popular plant to plant in gardens.
Wild garlic grows from a bulb which, when conditions are right, multiplies and grows wild very easily. It is best to plant the bulbs in the autumn in your garden, in a place with sufficient nutrition in the soil and shade and with enough space to multiply. Some nurseries also sell wild garlic plants in the spring. Harvest only when there are enough plants and leaves, otherwise wild garlic will not survive in your garden.
Everything about the wild garlic is edible, but especially the leaves have that fine onion-like and light garlicy flavour. The flowers can of course be beautifully decorative on a dish or in a salad, but the leaves are at their tastiest if you use them before they flower.
Do not just pick wild garlic from a park but ask permission. You can also buy wild garlic in season at some delicatessen shops. But the easiest way is of course to plant your own wild garlic in your garden.
If harvested in the wild, wild garlic is not difficult to recognise, the leaves have a truly unique onion-like scent and when the plant flowers it is even easier to recognise. Do not confuse it with lily of the valley, although they look different, the leaves are a bit similar, and lily of the valley is poisonous.
In this fantastic pesto, the flavour of wild garlic really comes to life. You properly make use of the season and you can do all sort of dishes with this pesto. Stir into a pasta or use the pesto on lamb chops grilled over a fire with new potatoes or make a super delicious soft focaccia with wild garlic pesto that you can eat together with a mouthwatering wild garlic and nettle soup served with a poached fresh egg. Pesto can easily be kept in the fridge for several weeks or freeze some to enjoy all year round.​​​​​​​
Once you have made your pesto, this pasta is a great quick meal, stir the pesto through al dente cooked pasta, add some chopped wild garlic and freshly grated goat cheese and you are ready to go. And not unimportantly, it tastes fantastic and would certainly not look out of place on the table when you have guests.
The outdoor season only really begins when you eat and cook outside and this is the ultimate spring dish, lamb chops grilled over a fire with new potatoes both with home-made wild garlic pesto. 
The lamb, by the way, is not very young lamb but lamb that has spent the summer and autumn outside. Serve the chops with the pesto, the fresh taste of pesto in combination with the meat is better than when you grill the chops with pesto, then the pesto burns and of course you do not want that. Serve with boiled young potatoes with pesto as well and young lettuce.
Wild Garlic and nettles are a great spring combination. I used half wild garlic leaves and half nettle tips for this tasty tarte. Nettles are best eaten when they are not too old, so basically from when they emerge until sometime in May. Only use the tops because those fresh leaves are the softest and have the best taste. Always blanch them in boiling water before processing, otherwise they will sting.
These flatbreads are pretty and not difficult to make. They are simply topped with wild garlic leaves and flowers and soft goat's cheese with some grated hard goat's cheese on top. Delicious for lunch or with a green salad. Either eat them hot or cold. Don’t they look like a piece of nature's art.
When it comes to bread, there is nothing better than a fresh, soft, airy loaf straight from the oven. This super fluffy focaccia has a special flavour thanks to the wild garlic pesto, is easy to make, you just need to be patient. It tastes fantastic straight from the oven. Delicious with wild garlic nettle soup. Or eat it just like it is, hot from the oven.
This soup combines two true wild spring vegetables, wild garlic and nettles, and is a fantastic combination as well as being super healthy. You can make it fancy by adding a poached egg, but if you find that too much work then a boiled egg will do as well, which is a classic combination in Scandinavian countries where nettle soup is always served with a boiled egg in the middle. Sprinkle with some finely chopped wild garlic leaves as decoration and for an extra bite and serve with tasty home-baked wild garlic pesto focaccia.

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