While the final snow melts each Spring, the bright green, very fragrant leaves of the wild garlic plants. Bärlauch as it is called in German carpet the forest floors in the Schliersee. The clean color for me is the perfect crisp springtime color but don’t forget the flavor. Can you believe with a little bit of knowledge you too can enjoy this amazing ingredient all for free. Foraging for “free range” fruits, nuts, herbs and spices is a great pleasure of mine.
One of my favorite and easiest things to make with the bärlauch leaves is a classic pesto. In most cases you could just use a basil pesto recipe with great results. It is incredible to freeze and enjoy as a treat in the deepest darkest times in Winter….just spread it on some crusty bread and voila…Springtime.I have had great success using it to rub on a chicken before roasting or toss some potatoes with a few heaping spoonfuls of pesto and roast until crisp. Imagine this addition to your Easter buffet.
One bit of warning before you go out exploring to discover your own patch of wild garlic, please familiarize yourself with the details of the leaves and the plants. Lily of the Valley is quite the imposter of Wild garlic and can be a dangerous mistake so please take a moment and read this article explaining the differences of each.
Here is also a great simple Bärlauch (wild Garlic) Pesto recipe:
1 bunch of ramps (about 10 stalks)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil (I used about 1/2 cup)
Salt & pepper
Squirt of lemon
Wash the ramps and cut the hairy ends off the bulbs. Roughly chop the leaves and remainder of the bulbs. Also roughly chop the walnuts, then place both the ramps and walnuts in a food processor. Pour in the cheese and start processing, slowly pouring in olive oil until you’ve reached a consistency you like. Taste for salt and pepper, and squirt in some lemon juice to taste.
I put my pesto in jars and coat with a layer of very good olive oil and keep them in the freezer to enjoy all year long. They make wonderful gifts as well.
American artist, photographer and professional wanderer who, after 20 years of roaming, put down roots in a 100 year old Bavarian farmhouse and fell in love with the Alpine village and its residents (both 2-legged and 4-legged).