Ramsløk as it is known in Norway, is also known as ramsons, buckrams, wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek or bear’s garlic.
Latin name: Allium ursinum
Long overlooked, Ramsløk has made a comeback of late, gourmet restaurants and epicureans everywhere are hoarding what they can. There are few places locally where it grows, and hopefully those special places, much like favourite mushroom spots will remain secret such that it will continue to grow and those who harvest it are responsible and follow the foraging rule of take no more than 1/3 of what is available. Doing so will help it thrive for generations to come.
Last year, our family took a course on local wild edibles, wandering the path and woods, collecting and nibbling as we walked. It was a revelation to see what can be foraged locally and was of immense value to increasing our knowledge about local food. We are fortunate to live in an area where we are able to obtain wild mushrooms, game, mussels, oysters, fish and more. We are blessed to live amongst such abundance.
But for now, I will keep this post about ramsløk. Having obtained a batch, we wanted to preserve it right away, and opted for two of the many ways that one can enjoy ramsløk, one tried and true, one experimental.
You can read about our sauerkraut here, and see how we incorporated ramsløk into a batch. The other method we used was a pure and simple pesto.
A simple blend of ramsløk, olive oil and sea salt brings out the taste of ramsløk like little else can. But one can vary the recipe in a multitude of ways, add pine nuts and parmesan (or percorino romano for the casein intolerant).
There are many ways of using ramsløk,:
- blend it with butter to use as a spread
- dry it and mix with salt (see this post on dehydrated veg and salt)
- ramsløk schnapps (or dram) fresh clean leaves infused in alcohol
- the fresh leaves can be cut and used in salad and baking wherever a delicate garlic flavour is desired, soups and sauces can easily be pureed
- or fermented in sauerkraut like we did here
As garlic lovers (see my post on black garlic here), we have become so enamoured with ramsløk that we have sown seeds in our garden, hopefully they will proliferate and we will have enough ramsløk for family and friends, I encourage you to do the same.