Three Cornered Garlic

It is definitely wild garlic season in the UK but so far I haven’t found where it grows in the wild locally to me so have been looking at the various garlic pesto recipes popping up on blogs with a deal of envy.

However, walking to a friend’s house for a shared Pilates class this morning I caught a glimpse of white flowers along the footpath behind her house, which runs through a slightly wooded area.

It wasn’t the true wild garlic or ransoms (allium ursinum) I had been looking for but instead was the milder three cornered garlic ( allium triquetrum), growing along with some bluebells.

Three Cornered Garlic, Allium Triquetrum
Three Cornered Garlic, Allium Triquetrum

 

This is equally edible but has a milder, sweeter flavour  meaning that you can use the leaves raw in salads as well as in cooking.  You can also eat the flowers.

You can recognise it by the triangular leaves.  The white bell shaped flowers have a small green stripe down each petal. As another check, smell the leaves to be sure they smell of garlic.

I wasn’t really prepared for this bit of ad-hoc foraging so only had a cloth bag and was wearing particularly unsuitable white trainers, especially as it was raining, but went back to collect a small amount after the class.    Not enough to make pesto I fear as I was trying reach far into the verge to avoid the ones dogs were most likely to have weed on whilst also trying to avoid picking the bluebell leaves which look fairly similar ( but were much larger), and avoid getting too wet and muddy.  But now I know where to go when better equipped. My friends also gave me some tips on where I might find ransoms in the area.

Three cornered garlic, and bluebells
Three cornered garlic, and bluebells

 

I also came back with a delicious homemade courgette and pine nut cake my friend had baked with a glut of courgettes from her veggie box – will definitely be getting the recipe for that.

I am not going to repeat a recipe for garlic pesto as I have seen several on other blogs recently, most recently this one from Gypsy Soul who also features a monthly Thrifty Thursday blog link up which I have joined a couple of times.

I think the quantity I collected will be ideal for adding to a risotto.

What’s your favourite way of using wild garlic, whichever variety?

You can now follow me on Twitter or Facebook using the links at the top of the page.  I have a board on foraging on Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

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BYO Cup – are we preaching to the converted?

Bring your own stainless steel mug
Bring your own stainless steel mug

 

I don’t generally have a coffee on my journey to work.  But the other day there was still coffee in the cafetiere and no time left, so I poured it into my stainless steel cup which falls somewhere between a “coffee to go” cup and a Thermos, and took it with me.  By the time I was sat on the train about an hour later it was still piping hot.

Maybe it was because I happened to be drinking a coffee that day that I took more notice of the others on the train, because I had not particularly noticed before.  In just one carriage, and it was not particularly busy, I counted 20 people sipping cups of tea or coffee.  Now given all the recent media coverage, Hugh’s War on Waste campaign and even articles in the Metro I was reading on the train that morning, you might think awareness of the coffee cup waste issue would be up a bit. So how many do you think had their drink in a reusable cup or flask?

Me.  Just me.

So it made me think.  Is the message actually getting out there?  And if it is, why don’t people care?  Are those of us trying to reduce our waste just sharing our disgust at the rubbish produced amongst ourselves? Are we preaching to the converted?

I truly hope not, and that little by little, the number of people thinking about such issues is increasing.   I was certainly not expecting to see no disposable cups, but 19 out of 20, now that really is rubbish.

 

An estimated 2.5 million paper cups are thrown away in the UK each year – that’s almost 5,000 a minute.  Less than 1% are recycled. ( rivercottage.net)