A great way to make the most of the very limited wild garlic season is to find delicious ways to preserve the leaves so that they can be enjoyed all year round. They are strongest and most versatile when fresh and the green leaves bring a welcome reminder that spring is just around the corner. There are however a couple of different methods to keep that flavour around a little longer. Here I have focussed on my favourite way of preserving wild garlic leaves – wild garlic salt. My main draw to this combination (aside from the taste) is the colour. This green salt is perfect for fish or game dishes but I find it ends up in every dish that comes out of the kitchen. Try grinding some over Yukon Gold potato wedges, you won’t be disappointed.
Wild Garlic Salt
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Drying Time: 2 hours (minimum)
100g wild garlic leaves
1kg coarse sea salt
- Wash the wild garlic and remove the stems. Ideally you need 100g of just leaves for a good strength of flavour.
- Roughly chop or tear the leaves into smaller pieces before placing in a food processor and blending into a rough paste (if you don’t have a food processor a stick blender could work just as well, or chop manually with a knife).
- Add about 100g of the coarse sea salt to the chopped wild garlic and continue to process until you have a creamy paste.
- Pour the remaining salt into a bowl and add the wild garlic paste. Mix thoroughly until all of the salt is consistently green throughout.
- Line a large tray with baking paper and spread the damp salt across it evenly. Place in the oven at 80°C (60°C Fan/Gas Mark 1) for approximately 2 hours (you could alternatively use a dehydrator or leave in a warm sunny position for 8 hours to dry). You may need to turn the salt over using a fork and return to the oven to continue drying – you need to eliminate all moisture from the mix.
- Once dried through allow to cool before transferring to an air-tight container. The flavoured salt does not have an expiry date but will lose its intensity over time. You only really need it to keep for a year, until the next season, which it will do easily.