Wild garlic or Ramsons are an abundant wild food found all over Scotland in very well established, damp wooded areas or along woodland river-banks like… the Water of Leith!
Very little has been written about its use in Scottish cooking until very recently. Its use as a medical application with the ability to break up kidney stones and clean the blood is documented in old folk records of the Highlands and Islands.
Wild Garlic comes into season at the end of winter until the end of spring and tastes like a cross between spring onion and garlic but can be more pungent and intense than both when fresh. Its strong smell of garlic is a good way to identify it and you will usually smell it in the area if it grows there. Unlike garlic and onion, once its cooked it loses most of its flavour and intensity.
It looks very similar to the poisonous Lily of the Valley so be careful. Never pick or consume a wild plant if you are unable to identify it properly. It could be endangered, protected or deadly poisonous. Always use reference books and if there is any doubt, leave it alone.
Wild Garlic Scones
Ostara Wild Garlic and Isle of Kintyre Smoked Cheddar Scones
400g of Mungoswells Self Raising Flour
15g of Baking Powder
150g of Unsalted Butter (cubed and at room temperature)
100g Isle of Kintyre Smoked Cheddar (grated)
10 Wild Garlic leaves (finely chopped) (supplied by Phantassie Organics based in East Lothian)
½ tsp of wholegrain mustard
½ tsp Salt
Pinch of cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven 220C/425F/gas mark 7
In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and butter. Rub ingredients together until it resembles fine crumbs.
Add ¾ grated cheddar (saving the rest to top the scones), wild garlic and wholegrain mustard.
Add ¾ of milk and combine. Add more milk until the mixture is thoroughly combined, holds its shape and is slightly tacky but not too wet.
Empty mixture out on to a well-floured surface, bring together and roll out to 1inch thickness.
Using a round 3-4inch cutter, cut 5-6 scones.
Place on a floured baking tray and top with remaining smoked cheddar
Place in the oven at 200C/425F/gas mark 7 for 15-20min.
Serve warm with butter.