Wild Garlic: So Common, So Delicious

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Foraging opportunities present themselves in such unexpected situations. Yesterday, I went to a clinic to get a COVID-19 test for an upcoming flight to Israel. As I was waiting outside, and my children were playing with rocks outside the clinic, I saw an unexpected wild edible in an area that wasn't maintained. It was wild garlic (Allium Vineale). This wild edible is so prolific that you could almost have to try to not find it growing abundantly and opportunistically in any green patch. I even have some growing in my front yard. This spicy and savory wild edible can complement almost any meal of the day in so many way. Every part of this plant is edible and has the strong aroma of onions. There are a few varieties of Allium species, and all are edible.

Allium Canadense Wild Garlic. So Common and So Delicious
Wild Garlic in Urban Environs

The leaves as seen to the right are edible and can be chopped and added to salads, sautéed with butter or stirred into an egg dish. The can be finely chopped and added to a butter mixture for spreading or simply stir fried with accompanying mushrooms. Younger leaves are preferable and can be found in early spring through summer.

The bulbs are also edible yet has a stronger flavor than the leaves, so it can be used as a stronger spice. Bulbs can be found and used throughout the year.

The bulblets (flower pods) are also edible and can be consumed similarly to the bulbs. These can be harvested in late summer after the flowers have all bloomed.

Shout out to Record Stores everywhere.
Wild Garlic cleaned of soil

Wild Garlic is simple to harvest. Find a good looking bunch that is not potentially exposed to contaminants and grab the bunch at the base. Slowly work the plants out of their soil, while loosening the soil surrounding the plants. If you feel like you are losing grip or the leaves start to tear, readjust your grip and apply steadily increasing pressure. As the Wild Garlic is harvested, wash the soil from their roots and cut off the roots at the bottom of the bulbs. Store in the refrigerator.

If you only harvest the leaves, then you can enjoy your wild garlic patch throughout the growing season.

I just got a tripod.
Bulbs of Wild Garlic

Once harvested I separate the bulbs and remove the roots. I discard the roots in the compost. Then I separate the bulbs from the leaves and chop the leaves as fine as I can. I do this to break down the fibers and make them leaves softer and more pleasant. Then I heat a pan with olive oil and throw in the bulbs. These sauté for a few moments then I add my slices oyster mushrooms. These oyster mushrooms were ones that I had cultivated in my basement using straw, oak sawdust and used coffee grounds. It was my fifth harvest and flush for the indoor mushroom logs. I let the mushrooms and bulbs fry for a few moments then I added a half cup of water and immediately after the garlic greens and salt. I let this cook for about 10 minutes until most of the water was evaporated and then took off of the medium/high heat. I am adding this batch to a previous evening's pasta dinner to make my leftovers more exciting.

Note: Thank you to u/karason Reddit used who brought to my attention that I had misidentified my wild garlic as Allium Canadesne when it was actually Allium Vineale. My most common practice is to submit my photos to iNaturalist and wait for my identification to be verified by another user. In this case, iNaturalist properly identified it, but when I was reading some literature from "Edible Wild Plants" I got confused and misrepresented. Thank you u/karason for alerting me to that error.

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