Wild garlic is a bulbous, perennial plant that grows wild in damp woodlands. It is a relative of the chive. It is a luxurious ingredient that is native to Europe. You might struggle to find it in your local store but a specialized greengrocer may stock it. It has a distinctive flavor of garlic though it is not as heavy or pungent as garlic cloves.
Wild garlic comes as leaves rather than cloves, and it is highly likely that you will buy more than you need for one meal. So, what do you do with the rest of it? The answer is simple. Freeze it. In this article, we will tell you how to freeze wild garlic. It takes a little time but is well worth the trouble.
How To Freeze Wild Garlic
1. Clean the wild garlic.
Put the wild garlic in a sieve and run it under cold water. You need to get rid of any dirt or insects.
2. Dry the wild garlic.
Dry the garlic with a kitchen towel to get rid of excess moisture. If there is too much moisture, the garlic could end up mushy.
3. Slice the wild garlic.
Lay the leaves on top of each other and slice along the length.
4. Flash freeze the wild garlic.
Put the wild garlic into the slots of an ice cube tray. Fill them to about two-thirds of the way up with wild garlic and top with water or olive oil. Don’t fill them right up to the top as the liquid will expand when the ice cube tray is put in the freezer. Wrap the ice cube tray tightly in cling film to stop freezer burn. Freezer burn occurs when air gets to the food in the freezer. It causes deterioration in the taste and texture of the food.
Put the ice cube tray in the freezer and freeze until solid. This should take four to five hours.
5. Bag up your ice cubes.
The cubes shouldn’t stick together as they have been frozen separately. This means that you can take out just as many cubes as you need for a meal. Put a label on the bag with the date frozen and the contents. Put the bag in the freezer.
How To Freeze Wild Garlic Pesto
Wild garlic pesto is a great addition to a pasta dish giving it a more subtle flavor than garlic cloves. It’s not that difficult to make and it freezes well.
1. Make the wild garlic pesto.
Blitz 3 ½ oz of wild garlic leaves in a food processor. Then add 1 ¾ oz of grated parmesan and 1 ¾ oz of toasted pine nuts, and blitz again. You could use other nuts if you prefer, such as hazelnuts, cashews, or pecans. Then, add olive oil to the food processor and blend until it has a smooth consistency.
2. Put the wild garlic pesto into the slots of an ice cube tray.
Put a little olive oil on the top of the pesto. Don’t fill it right up to the top as the pesto will expand when put in the freezer. Cover the tray tightly with cling film so that freezer burn doesn’t occur and freeze for a few hours.
3. Put the cubes in a freezer bag.
Squeeze out all the air from the bag to avoid freezer burn and label the bag with the date frozen and the contents.
Tips For Freezing Wild Garlic
- Avoid freezer burn by wrapping the ice cube tray with cling film and squeezing the air out of the freezer bag.
- Leave room for the liquid to expand in the ice cube tray.
- Don’t freeze whole leaves in a freezer bag. They will be mushy when defrosted.
- Make wild garlic butter. Herb butter freezes particularly well. All you have to do is blitz wild garlic leaves with butter in a food processor, make it into a sausage shape, and cover in cling film to stop freezer burn. Put it into the freezer and slice off a section when needed.
For How Long Can You Freeze Wild Garlic?
You can keep wild garlic in the freezer for up to six months. However, the earlier you use it, the better the taste and texture will be. Always remember to put a label in the freezer bags so that you know when you put it in the freezer. In that way, you won’t leave it in for longer than six months.
How Do You Defrost Wild Garlic?
The good news is that you don’t have to defrost wild garlic. Just throw the cube into the dish you are making. It will melt in a matter of minutes. However, if you intend to use the wild garlic in a cold dish like a salad, you can defrost it in the fridge overnight.
Can You Refreeze Wild Garlic?
While refreezing wild garlic is safe healthwise, we don’t recommend it as it will lose taste and texture with the second freezing. Because you have frozen the wild garlic in cubes, all you need to do is take out as many cubes as you need for the dish.
Is It a Good Idea to Freeze Wild Garlic?
Yes, it is. If you have too many wild garlic leaves to use in one dish, freezing is a great way to preserve it for future meals. It may discolor a little but you will hardly notice any difference in taste. You will still get that wonderful flavor of garlic.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope that you now know all there is to know about freezing wild garlic but in case you are still curious, we have answered a couple of questions here.
Can you eat wild garlic flowers, and can you freeze them?
Yes, you can eat wild garlic flowers. They are more delicate in flavor and texture than the leaves and for this reason, we advise against freezing them. If you do, the flavor will lessen, and they will probably end up mushy. We suggest that you use them in salads (see also How To Freeze Spring Onions). They will add a pleasant touch and look to the dish.
What dishes can I use frozen wild garlic in?
Wild garlic and nettle soup is delicious. Wild garlic stuffing is great with pork, and you can add it to stroganoff and other stews.