I was food styling a photoshoot for Jamie Magazine this week, and one of the recipes called for Wild Garlic, which is also known as Ransoms and is a great forager’s garlic substitute.
My sister Jane in Somerset couldn’t find any in the woods behind her house, so Freddie and I headed locally to Wick Woods. (between Hackney Wick and Hackney Marshes.) I had the assistance of my memory, (not such a good idea!) Google images, (which kinda helped, though confusing) and the information that it looked similar to the leaf of Lily Of The Valley. (which is poisonous!)
In this mostly very urban part of London, next to the A12, we found ourselves deep in quiet leafy woods and paths, with not a soul around. (slightly freaked out by the thought of me alone with just a puppy to protect me…) I found a leaf that looked similar and picked a bunch of it, but then realised it had no smell or taste of garlic at all, so I kept on looking.
Then suddenly, yay! there was a cluster that fitted all descriptions, and sure enough the leaves had a subtle whiff and flavour of garlic.
So grab I did, with a few little roots and buds, and I skipped home chuffed with myself…..only vaguely concerned I had the right thing……