We love free food and being in the great outdoors so it makes sense that we are big fans of foraging too! We've shared lots of delicious wild garlic recipes so as its season comes to an end Alex has one final recipe to share...
Ramsons (wild garlic seeds) can be found in woodlands, along riverbanks and at the base of shaded hedgerows
Wild Ramson Capers
The wild garlic season goes something like this: leaves start to appear from late winter and these can be used to make lots of delicious recipes from soup to pesto and salt, then as we get into the middle of spring the beautiful white flowers appear and you can use these too (they make salads look so pretty). As we get to the start of the summer the flowers start to fall and tiny seeds (the ramsons) are left behind. These are what we use to make delicious, miniature capers that will allow us to enjoy the fruits of wild garlic for many months to come and help to bring our food to life even in deepest, darkest winter.
Tiny wild garlic seed heads
All you need is a pair of scissors and a basket or pot for collecting the ramsons. Just snip the seed heads off below the base, at the end of the stalk.
A small bowl full should produce a jar packed with a decent amount of tasty morsels.
Freshly picked ramsons ready for preparation for pickling
Using a pair of scissors remove the seed heads and discard the stalks, give them a little rinse, pat them dry and then pop them in a clean jar. Sprinkle fine sea salt over the ramsons to give them a light covering - use a little less salt than the weight of the prepared seeds. Pop the lid on the jar and leave for 3 weeks.
Ramsons layered in salt
When the 3 weeks are up rinse the salt off your seeds. Pat the seeds dry and leave to completely dry out on some kitchen roll.
Then add them into a sterlised jar and cover with vinegar - you can use malt, white wine or cider vinegar. Enough to cover the seeds in the jar (or jars!)
You could also add in some peppercorns, a bay leaf, sprigs of fresh dill, rosemary, or any other herb if you fancy experimenting!
Now to wait patiently for 2 - 3 months while the seeds soak up the vinegar and soften a little.
Here's some I prepared earlier, well actually, last year - only a few teaspoons left ?...
Wild ramson capers - pickled and ready to eat
We throw ramson capers in salads, pasta dishes and on pizzas. They really do help to jazz up the winter larder, practically for free, and make great gifts too. But you have to be patient...and I'm nearly out of last year's supply!
You can also make slightly larger capers from nasturtium seeds, which I will be doing as the summer rolls to a close.
Hopefully you enjoyed this recipe - if so you can find more food & drink articles here >