Wild garlic – the local spice plant for gourmets

Wild garlic pesto, wild garlic soup, wild garlic pasta, wild garlic spread, wild garlic butter…  - the list of recipes is endless. The leaves with their garlicky aroma are versatile, taste excellent and are also very healthy.
The last snow in the mountains has hardly melted, and you can already smell the spicy fresh aroma on a walk through the local forest. Wild garlic is related to chives, onion and garlic, therefore its typical aroma and of course the taste. This spice plant can be found throughout most of Europe and it blooms until around mid-May.
Every year I look forward to the wild garlic season, as this wonderful local magical leaf is used in many of my spring dishes. This spice plant is a genuine culinary multi-talent with which you can conjure up a variety of tasty treats. There’s no limit to your fantasy and creativity. Yet, the best thing is, that although wild garlic tastes just like garlic, it doesn’t create an unpleasant garlic smell on your breath. ?? In addition, the spice plant has a stimulating effect on the metabolism, reduces inflammation, cleanses the blood and also has a positive effect on your cholesterol level. That’s why wild garlic and its essential oils are often used in natural medicine to treat a variety of complaints.

How do you recognise wild garlic?

Wild garlic, with its tongue-like, lancet-shaped stalked leaves, is mainly found in moist, shady woodland. On the underside the leaves are dull, as opposed to the poisonous plant which also grows at this time of year – the lily of the valley. So, please be careful and only pick the plant, if you are absolutely sure it is wild garlic. If you are unsure, you can get wild garlic in small bunches in supermarkets or at vegetable markets – for example in Radstadt at the weekly market, which takes places every Friday morning. So, let’s head off to the kitchen:

Today I’ve picked my top three favourite recipes for you to try out at home: Let’s start with an absolute classic on our breakfast table:

Wild garlic spread


Wash the wild garlic leaves well, pat them dry and cut them finely.
Mix the quark with the crème fraîche.
Add the wild garlic, lemon juice and mustard and add salt and pepper to taste.

Whether as starter for a special dinner or a light evening meal – you can’t go wrong with this recipe:

Wild garlic soup


Melt the butter in a pan.
Sauté the onions, add the chopped wild garlic and fry for a short while.
Flour the mixture, sweat for a few minutes and add the hot broth and stir until smooth.
Simmer for 7-8 minutes.
To finish, add the sour cream. (The soup should not boil anymore.)
Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste.

To round off, I have one more recipe, so you can refine your home-made delicacies with tasty wild garlic aroma all year round:

Wild garlic salt


Wash the wild garlic and pat dry.
Then chop using a mixer.
Gradually add salt and if you wish lime or lemon juice and mix again.
Spread the mixture evenly on a baking tray and bake in the oven for around 1 hour (160° C) or leave outdoors in the sunshine for several hours. Turn and spread every now and again.
To finish, pulverise the mixture with a mixer to a fine salt. Filled in a glass, this makes a perfect small gift for friends and family.

Another little tip: if you wrap the wild garlic leaves in a damp, cold tea towel, they will keep for a few days in the fridge without any problem. Have fun cooking & tasting ??

Photo credits: Julia Scharfetter, Pixabay