Ramps, wild leek, ramsons, wild garlic; whatever you call it, these flavourful leaves are excellent tossed in salads (both warm and cold), swirled through soup, made into pesto, and blended with mash, as in the wild garlic mashed potato recipe below.
Whether you've found a glut of ramps on a foraging trip or you're a city dweller lucky enough to find some for sale, wild garlic is a seasonal wild food not to be missed. More akin to a sort of cross between garlic and spring onion, this chive relative blankets woodlands from March to June. And unlike its more pungent namesake, the broad leafed plant won't leave you ponging for days.
Three reliable sources for wild garlic, when it's in season, are Riverford, Abel & Cole, and Ocado. Natoora supplies Ocado, so you are likely to find some at their shops as well. If you're extra fortunate, you'll get a few flowers with your delivery (Ocado/Natoora often include them).
Oftentimes food purveyors throw flowers into their wares for good looks or in a bid to be clever, but with little regard for whether or not they complement the dish. In contrast to perfumed petals, however, wild garlic flowers won't overwhelm other ingredients with unnecessary aromas; the flowers taste like the leaves, only with a more intense flavour. And hence you can use them in any dish, including this mash recipe, where the flavour of ramps is desirable.
Wild Garlic Mash
This super creamy vegan mash is perfect alongside seared seitan. Vegan crème fraîche is available in the UK and parts of Europe, but failing that you can use an unsweetened vegan yoghurt. A high fat non-dairy milk is also permissible.
- 700-ish grams potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 tablespoons vegan crème fraîche or unsweetened dairy free yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 50 grams wild garlic, finely sliced or chopped
- 2 small spring onions, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Boil the potatoes in salted water (12 grams per litre) until they are knife tender. Drain and mash the potatoes.
- Add the creme fraiche, extra virgin olive oil, and mustard. Continue to mash or to mix until all of the ingredients are well blended. Add wild garlic, spring onions, and any additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Author: Kip Dorrell
- Serves 2-3 as a side
- Cuisine: British