Garlic's more subtle cousin

04-07-2019 in Ingredients
Garlic's more subtle cousin

Protected plant

Up until not so very long ago, picking wild garlic was prohibited in the Netherlands. The ban has now been lifted, which is great news as this little plant is bursting with flavour and is being cultivated more and more. The plant is a wild relative of the onion and contains both the aroma of garlic and of onion. It adds a subtle nuance that can give a dish just that little something extra. Joris Bijdendijk from Rijks* restaurant shares this composition with us in which he uses the wild garlic in a sauce.

What can I use it for?

Every part of the wild garlic plant is edible, but it is mainly the leaves that are used to add flavour to dishes. The long, elliptical leaves resemble the shape of sea-lavender leaves. The taste of the leaves is a combination of onion and garlic but with a much more subtle flavour making it perfect to add to white fish such as corvina or sea bass, oilier fish such as eel, or even mushrooms such as morels and chanterelles.

How do I use it?

Do not use wild garlic like you would use normal garlic. Where you would usually use garlic at the start of a warm preparation, wild garlic is best added at the end. The herb is bursting with flavour and you could extract this beautiful aroma from the plant in an oil, for example. Use the oil to add flavour to a salad or to simply lift a beurre blanc to a higher level. Place a leaf on a piece of halibut, place in a vacuum sealer bag with some oil, and pull vacuum before cooking in a sous-vide system. Another easy use is as a garnish by braising the leaves in butter and stock. Find inspiration in other components with green herbs. Use wild garlic as you would use other green herbs.

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