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Wild Garlic - Ransoms


It would be remiss of me to allow March to pass us by without a little mention of Ransoms (Allium Ursinum) or Wild Garlic as it is more commonly known.


This Beautiful and Versatile Plant is a Native Plant with a strong Garlic Smell and Flavour and can be found growing in Shady Woodlands and Hedgerows during Spring preferring Damp Areas.


Wild Garlic has both Medicinal and Foraging uses and has similar Medicinal Properties to Garlic and seems to be able to be tolerated by people who have problems with Onions or Garlic


Wild Garlic is Easily identified by the Leaves that grow Long, Oval and Pointed, with Smooth Edges.


The Flowers are white, with six petals in rounded clusters held high on leafless stalks and the Plant Reproduces through the Bulbs and the Seeds from the Flower Heads.


As with many Hedgerow Plants Wild Garlic is extremely beneficial for many Medicinal Ailments.






Medicinal Benefits:


Blood Pressure Regulation: Wild Garlic has been credited with  effectively Reducing Blood Pressure and it’s Cardiovascular Benefits are believed to Lower the risk of Heart Disease and Stroke.


Antibacterial and Antiseptic Properties: Wild Garlic contains compounds containing Antibacterial, Antibiotic and Antiseptic Properties.


Blood Cleanser: Like Garlic, Ransoms improves Circulation and is known for it’s Blood Cleansing Abilities.


Bowel Problems: Ransoms is believed to be one of the best Herbal Medicines for the Bowel and can help balance the Gut Flora and is beneficial for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastroenteritis, Colic and Flatulence.


Rich in Nutrients: Wild Garlic is a great Source of Vitamin C and B,  Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron.


Traditional Uses: Historically, Wild Garlic Bulbs were used in Tonics for Rheumatic Problems and High Cholesterol.


For Medicinal Purposes, Ransoms is best prepared as a Tincture giving you the Medicinal Properties whenever you need them throughout the year until the next year’s Harvest.






Foraging and Culinary Use:


Ransoms Leaves are best used as a Fresh Seasonal food and can be eaten Raw or Cooked and can be used in many Recipes from Soups to Pestos, Omelettes, Risottos or simply Braise in a little Butter or cook as you would Spinach. The Bright White Star shaped Flowers can also be used by sprinkling into a Salad.


Pestos are good because they can be frozen, I use Glass Jars to store my Pesto and it works really well and there is no deterioration in the Colour or Flavour. Also drying the Leaves and storing them to use for a hearty sprinkle in many recipes throughout the Year is a brilliant way to keep a good supply on hand.


Personally I never follow a recipe when I cook, my cooking is a bit more Ad Hoc but for those of you that like to follow a recipe the one below is quick and easy to follow.


Wild Garlic Soup

Ingredients:


1 Onion Chopped

2 tblsps Olive Oil

1 Leek Chopped

1 Large Potato Chopped

900ml Vegetable Stock

75g Wild Garlic Chopped

3 tbsp Creme Fresh or Double Cream plus extra to serve if Required.


Method


Heat the Oil in a Large Pan over a Medium Heat and Cook the Onion and Leek, stirring frequently until they begin to soften.


Stir in the Potato then pour in the Stock and bring to the boil, reducing it to a simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes or until Potato has softened.


Add the Ransoms and cook for a further 2 minutes, Season according to taste, then stir in a little Creme Fraiche or Double Cream.


Blend using a Hand Blender or similar.






Wild Garlic Pesto


Ingredients:


150 g Wild Garlic Leaves

50 g Parmesan Cheese or Similar Hard Cheese Finely Grated

1 Garlic Clove Finely Chopped

½ Lemon Grated and Squeezed

50 g Pine Nuts (Pine Nuts are relatively expensive but I have found that you can use any nuts as an alternative and they work perfectly well)

150 ml Rapeseed or Olive Oil


Method:


Rinse and roughly chop the Wild Garlic Leaves.


Blitz the Wild Garlic Leaves, Parmesan, Garlic, Lemon and Zest and Nuts to a rough Paste with a Little Oil in a Food Processor or Blender. Season well and slowly add the Remaining Oil to the required Constituency. Taste and ~Season and add a few Squeezes of Lemon Juice.


Transfer the Pesto to a clean jar and top with a little extra Oil. 


This will keep in the fridge for two weeks or alternatively it freezes extremely well for Delicious Wild Garlic Pesto all Year Round.




Personally whenever I Harvest any Plant, I always give thanks to the Plant when I am Picking the Leaves and Flowers and also Please always remember to Harvest your Wild Garlic responsibly and respectfully so it can grow year after year providing us with its many Benefits.

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