Close cookies panel

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience.

If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website.

Merlewood

Cumbria, England

Foraging for Wild Garlic

Posted by Luci Ackers on Apr 19, 2017
Wild garlic in Cumbria
Wild garlic in Cumbria

During springtime the delicate white flowers of wild garlic start to emerge, carpeting the woodland floor in green and white. Merlewood in Cumbria has incredible displays of wild garlic throughout the surrounding woodland. Find out how to stay onsite by clicking here.

Favouring a similar habitat, wild garlic can often be seen growing alongside bluebells and if you head into woodland areas around the end of April you may be lucky enough to see a sea of dainty flowers.

Flavour

As well as adding a splash of interest to their shady surroundings, wild garlic is also a great ingredient to use in all sorts of recipes. It is strong and flavourful and, unlike common garlic, it is the leaves that are eaten rather than the bulbs. As part of the allium family, wild garlic is relatively similar in flavour to the chive plant.

Though all of the plant is edible it is the young leaves that have the best flavour and are perfect eaten raw – if you like a bit of a tang. Milder than conventional garlic, the leaves can be used in salads or whizzed up in dips. If it really is a mild flavour you are after then cooking considerably reduces pungency and still adds great depth to soups and sauces.

Once the plant has flowered it still has its uses. You can use the flowerheads as garnish while the seed pods are forming and as the seeds ripen the flavour will get stronger. The seeds can add quite a kick and a nice bite to green salads and pasta salads. Alternatively have a go at creating your own seasoning; dried wild garlic leaves are less strong than fresh and go well in dressings. Wash, dry in an oven (for speed and ease) and mix with salt before storing in a jar. It will keep for quite a while like this, so you can use it again and again.

Foraging

Wild garlic has large flat leaves, pointed at the tip. It is often found alongside other wild plants and its leaves are similar in appearance to Lily of the Valley, which also produces small white flowers. Lily of the Valley is poisonous however, so don't confuse the two! If you're unsure, sniff it out! Wild Garlic has a distinctive smell. You'll know it when you've got it.

Between March and June wild garlic will be abundant in deciduous British woodland and around river banks. It loves semi-shade, moist soil and will usually flower before the deciduous trees come into leaf. The stem is triangular, and produces one leaf which is large and broad. The flowerhead does not contain bulbils like field garlic does, only delicate white star-like flowers. These are pretty and edible and look great in cold dishes.

You will most likely smell the plant before you see it – the recognisable scent will fill the woodland. Remember you are not allowed to uproot a wild plant so don't dig the garlic up once you've found it, simply cut the stems and take the amount that you need. If you have found one plant, chances are there will be loads.

Responsible foraging

Remember, it's ok to pick foliage and flowers of most wild plants for your own use. But you should take small amounts from different areas, don't strip a plant. Some wild plants are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Ideas

A great many recipes exist online for wild garlic dishes, using all parts of the plant. So there's no shortage of ideas for you to get experimenting with flavours. Rick Stein does a fantastic pan-fried monkfish which has an aromatic wild garlic coating; find the recipe here.

Stay in Cumbria, explore the woodlands and see Merlewood's display of wild garlic for yourself. Find out how by clicking the link below.

 
FIND OUT HOW YOU TOO CAN STAY HERE
Share this post:
Luci Ackers
Author: Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.


0 Comments related to this article
Submit a Comment
Cancel Reply
Name *  
Email address *    
Comment *  
Submit Comment

All comments will be moderated before being displayed

How do I find out more?
Request our beautifully illustrated brochure

Merlewood is part of the Holiday Property Bond's growing portfolio of outstanding holiday properties throughout the UK and Europe, imaginatively created over 32 years to combine "home from home" comfort with total relaxation. Currently the portfolio features 35 holiday developments, all in stunningly beautiful locations across 13 countries, with over 1,400 individual villas, apartments and cottages.

For a summary of how HPB can give you and your family a lifetime of wonderful holidays and the risks as well as the benefits of an investment please read "Important Information" below.

Then we would be delighted to send you our brochure, including our property portfolio, along with our full length DVD introduced by Bondholder Sue Barker and a list of forthcoming Open Days and Exhibitions. Please just complete and submit this form or telephone our FREE brochure line on 0800 230 0391.

Request a brochure
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address  
Postcode *  
Telephone number
How did you hear about us?
I confirm I have read and understood your data policy.
SUBMIT
* Indicates required fields

AS FEATURED IN The Telegraph BBC Daily Mail The Sunday Times

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
This advertisement is issued by HPBM registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPBM is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, issued by HPB Assurance Limited ("HPBA") registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. The Trustee of HPB is HSBC Trustee (C.I.) Limited registered at HSBC House, Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey, JE1 1GT. The Securities Manager is Stanhope Capital LLP of 35 Portman Square, London, W1H 6LR.

You should only invest in HPB for its holiday benefits – consistent quality and a no profit "user charge" to cover costs rather than a commercial rent. Although you can surrender your investment back to the company after two years or more you should not expect a full return of what you have paid. What you get back will reflect initial and ongoing charges and costs as well as changes in the value of the properties and securities in the fund in which your money, after charges, is invested. A summary of initial and ongoing charges is in section E of the Product Particulars. Exceptionally surrender may be deferred up to twelve months. Minimum initial payment £5,000 and then a quarterly fee of around thirty pounds linked to RPI. No medical examination required. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM who will only charge for their services if you invest.

HPBM advises only on HPB and is not independent of HPBA. Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies.

Privacy policy

Before you leave...

Why not request our fully illustrated brochure?

You will receive our beautiful property portfolio

Our full length DVD introduced by Bondholder & presenter Sue Barker

And a list of forthcoming Open Days and Open Events

REQUEST OUR BROCHURE