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More experiments with wild garlic seed pods

Posted by on Friday 2 July 2010 in eating, wild food | 1 comment

After the pickling success a few weeks ago, I wanted to find other ways to use wild garlic seed pods for the year.

Experiment 1: Mint and wild garlic seed pods pesto
*Everyone* makes pesto from wild garlic leaves so I decided to give it a go with the pods and mint leaves. (After the pickling, I, randomly, went to clean my teeth and noticed that the lingering smell of that chivey garlic on my hands mingled wonderfully with my Sensodyne – and I wondered if that wasn’t a perfect jumping off point for my George’s Marvellous Pesto experiments. As luck would have it, our mint has gone mad this year so I had a lot of leaves to work with.)

The seed pods have a much lower water content than leaves so when blasted together, it was very dry and needed quite a bit of olive oil to make it ooze. Although it’s supposed to be pretty decent oil, the stuff I used added an unpleasant note to the paste – even over the super super strong flavour of the garlic and the mint. All in all, it was a bit overwhelming.

Verdict: Fail.

Experiment 2: Wild garlic and cumin seed “chutney”
While looking for inspiration for the pesto, I found a recipe for a dry Indian style chutney/paste made using garlic greens, chilli, lemon & lime and roasted cumin seeds. Mmm roasted cumin seeds.

I started blasting the pods in the blenders first then slowly adding the cumin seeds until I achieved a decent taste balance. Like the pesto, the mix was very dry though so I tried adding the lemon juice and a chilli for a bit of moisture. The flavour was still very strong but better than the mint version – but it was still too dry really. I was reluctant to add oil because of the pesto situation. Lemon & lime flesh instead of just juice might help I guess.

Verdict: Fail but less fail than the last one.

Experiment 3: Extracting the seeds
The above experiments were speckled with black seeds and I thought I might be able to extract and dry the seeds, then use them as flavouring – like onion seeds in naan bread. I suspect it would work but OMG what a tedious job for very little reward. I’m going to see if I can get some pods to dry out completely so I can rub the seeds out rather than having to cut them from the pods – but still, I’d have to collect an awful lot to make it worthwhile.

Stuff to try next year

  • Oil – not so much preserving them as flavouring oil, but still.
  • Jelly – like rosemary jelly with apples.
  • Mustard – the “chutney” could be adapted to be more like a mustard.
  • Freezing them – it’s boring but it’ll probably work well.

Have you done anything with them? Got any other suggestions of things for me to try?

One Comment

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  1. kirem

    I’ve tried to preserve garlic cloves in oils before but read that they become poisonous. There’s a special process to remove the poison. Not sure if this is valid with wild garlic but it would be worth checking.

    Nice article though.

    Cheers, Kirem.

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