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Pickling wild garlic (Ramsons) seed pods

Posted by on Monday 28 June 2010 in eating, wild food | 1 comment

I love wild garlic. It was the first wild food I really tried and the one I’m still most comfortable with given how easily identifiable it is, and how it makes the world green when everything else is still hitting the snooze alarm after winter.

Usefully, the woods next to our house are *filled* with it, more than anywhere else I’ve seen – we’ve even got a sizeable patch growing at the bottom of our garden, which made it very easy to forage for a few handfuls of leaves at a time when I wanted to fling them in a recipe. Unfortunately though, like when you have most things in abundance, you don’t think about the time when they’re not going to be there any more – and I didn’t think about preserving any leaves until it was pretty much too late.

I’ve got a baggie full of stems in the freezer though – for using like spring onions in stir frys – and I was already thinking about how to preserve some seed pods when ManUpATree Nick Weston published a post on pod pickling. Very convenient timing!

As I didn’t have pine needle vinegar like Nick, I used rice vinegar with a tiny bit of sugar dissolved in it to make it sweeter (I wanted it sweet but thought balsamic would be too sticky/overwhelming on its own). Other than that, I followed Nick’s instructions down to the spring of rosemary – since our rosemary plants seem to be finally waking up again at last.

Before pickling, the pods were very strong – eaten one at a time with a gasping “phew!” afterwards – but the pickling seems to have mellowed them quite a bit. They’re still strong & garlicky – and obviously vinegary too now – but not quite as explosive. We’ve been having them as part of our lunch – just a tiny spoonful – and I’ve been drizzling them (as far as drizzling is possible) over salad.

I’ll certainly make it again next year – starting slightly earlier in the year so I can get a good few batches made before the pod stalks fall over. The rice vinegar worked well but I’d probably water it down a bit (as long as it’s more that 50% vinegar, it’s ok for pickling apparently).

One Comment

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  1. louisa

    My friend George has just mentioned that his pickled pods are improving with age and they’re the “pizza topping of kings”. We both plan to pickle considerably more next year!


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