A recipe for pickling wild garlic buds
The wild garlic season may be nearing an end, but there's still time to get some joy from this plant that's so abundant in our British countryside at this time of year.
For many years I've foraged the leaves from wild garlic plants, but only a year or two back did I learn that once the leaves are too strong to use for cooking, underneath the bushy leaves delicate little buds arrive before blooming into white flowers.
The buds are so very satisfying to pick, the little pop is joyous for children and adults alike. And, with very little effort they can be pickled and enjoyed with curry, in a salad, or with a cheese toastie.
If you have a well-stocked larder in these days of lockdown, you're likely to have everything you need to hand. And an old jam jar will do the trick. Here's the recipe, if you can call it that!
Pickled wild garlic buds, washed
~ wild garlic buds ~ as many as you can fit into your jar
~ apple cider vinegar ~ about 2/3 of the jar
~ 1 tsp mustard seeds
~ 1 tsp peppercorns
~ 1 tbsp caster sugar
~ 1 bay leaf
Sterilise your jar, by putting into an oven at 160 degrees for 10 minutes and pouring boiling water over the lids and rubbers seals (if you are using them).
Heat the apple cider vinegar until just boiling, add the sugar and wait until it is dissolved, remove from heat.
Put your wild garlic buds into your jar, along with the mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaf. Pour over the hot vinegar.
Seal the jar, leave to cool before placing in a dark cupboard for at least a couple of weeks (although, will last much longer). Once opened, store in the fridge and use within two weeks. Enjoy!