Wild Garlic tastes better, not just because it’s free!

Here is what you are looking for!

Go into any swanky restaurant at the moment and you will certainly see wild garlic on the menu. It is a really fashionable ingredient at the moment but did you know that it is abundant, easy to find and best of all free! Who says eating well needs to cost a fortune?

We have just got back from our 2nd trip to River Cottage this year (more about this in a later post). While leaving Axminster we saw so much wild garlic at the side of the road that we stopped to get out and pick some. We now have a whole plastic bag crammed full of the stuff.

What to look for:

You find it is hedgerows and wooded areas. It is often found next to bluebells but the best way to find it is to simply follow your nose. You will most certainly smell it before you see it. It has a very distinctive garlicky smell. It has a beautiful little star shaped white flower and is unmistakable. This makes it one of the easiest forage projects around and really good fun to find with a little one.

Basically you use the wild garlic to flavour your food like you would with normal garlic but it also makes the best garlic bread you have ever tasted!

We picked our wild garlic in Dorset and then drove 4 hours back to Kent. It is fair to say that our ride home was almost unbearably marked by the stink of garlic. What made it worse was that we could not open the windows because it was raining so hard.





  1. I am sure you only broke the top of the plants off, but I believe most wild flowers now have some degree of protection. If the flowers are ripe enough and have started turning to seed you could sow them yourselves.

    About 30 years ago they turned up out of the blue in my dad’s garden – bird? so once they established I took some bulbs from there and we have had them in our garden ever since. Some years they spread and are magnificent, but some years there don’t seem so many of them – not helped, no doubt, by the foxes who like to roll in them!

  2. Angela Harding says

    Yep it grows in abundance where I work in Oxfordshire but I would add that the building was built on an old allotment site cultivated for many years by Polish and Czech who came over during and after WW2

  3. Angela Harding says

    Whoops and no you harvest it before it flowers

  4. Rosey Lyall says

    Do you use the flowers or leaves or bulbs to flavour your food?

  5. Please take care not to trample other plants such as bluebells, and don’t take more than you need just because it’s free! However wild garlic has the best flavour, so enjoy it whilst it’s in season.

  6. Years ago we used to gather everything free from the hedgerows that we could – everyone did and it was quite a necessity when money was tight. When I was young we even used to eat the very young fresh hawthorn leaves which we called ‘ bread and cheese’

  7. Wild garlic is best picked before it flowers as the leaves are more tender, but it’s fine afterwards. I have a lot growing under some trees at the end of the garden and I love drying it to sprinkle in soups and stews after the season’s finished.

  8. Really enjoying the wild garlic this year, seems to be more pungent. Great as an ingredient for potato salad, soups etc and have added some to home made homus. Have just put some in the freezer to see what it will be like after a few months.

    For those gathering for the first time take care as the lords and ladies plant sometimes grows alongside wild garlic and is poisonous.

  9. Suzy batters says

    I bought some tubers on the internet last autumn, put them in pots outside over the winter and hoped. I now have three medium sized puts brimming with green leaves. Take care if you have a small garden though, not only do they spread but they are also quite smelly.

    I’m going to make a cheat’s version of a Tom Kerridge recipe – try a mackerel and wild garlic potato cake with a poached egg on top. It might not look as fancy but I hope it will taste as good.

  10. There are lots of wild garlic recipes on our blog from this year and last Spring – love the stuff, love foraging

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