Unfortunately, wild garlic is an ingredient you’ll struggle to find in your supermarket. But perhaps you’ve managed to get hold of some from an artisan greengrocer, have been sent some in your vegetable box, or are lucky enough to live near the woods. So how do you then store it?
Can You Freeze Wild Garlic?
Yes, you can freeze wild garlic for up to 6 months. You can freeze the leaves whole, but a better approach is to freeze wild garlic pesto into frozen cubes, which can be popped into various dishes.
Does Wild Garlic Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Wild Garlic? No
How to Freeze Wild Garlic
This is the approach we recommend for most herbs. It’s simple, effective and gives you plenty of choices when it comes to using your wild garlic:
- Clean: First, make sure your wild garlic is completely clean of dirt and bugs – this is especially important if you have foraged it yourself.
- Dry: Once clean, make sure it is dry. Give it a good dry with a kitchen towel which will absorb the excess moisture.
- Slice: Slice your wild garlic up. The best way to do this is to lay the leaves on top of one another and then slice along its length.
- Portion into Ice Cube Tray: Place your wild garlic into the slots of an ice cube tray. You’ll want to fill each slot around two-thirds of the way.
- Flash Freeze: Top up with either water or olive oil, wrap the tray in cling film and place in the freezer for several hours.
- Final Freeze: Once the cubes are frozen solid, pop them out into a bag and return to the freezer.
How to Freeze Wild Garlic Pesto
Freezing wild garlic pesto is fairly similar to freezing wild garlic on its own. You’ll need an ice cube tray again. But first, you’ll need to make up a batch of wild garlic pesto which is surprisingly easy:
Take 100g of wild garlic and blitz in a food processor. Then add 50g grated parmesan, 50g of toasted nuts (cashews, hazelnuts and pine nuts all work well here). Blitz again. As you blitz, slowly add olive oil until it becomes the consistency you want.
The method for freezing it is similar to that outlined above. Spoon the pesto into an ice cube tray, seal with a layer of olive oil and freeze. Once frozen solid, pop them out of the tray and into a bag before returning to the freezing.
3 Tips for Freezing Wild Garlic
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing wild garlic to have the best results:
Leave Room for Expansion
When you freeze liquid, it will expand. When topping up the slots of an ice cube tray, leave a small gap at the top to give the water or oil room to expand.
Freeze in Cubes
Freezing in cubes is both efficient and makes it easy to use in future. You can try freezing whole leaves, but they will often become mushy and unappetising.
Try Making Wild Garlic Butter
Flavoured butter freezes particularly well, and the same can be said for wild garlic butter. Blitz wild garlic with butter, form into a long sausage using cling film and freeze. You can then slice a ring off whenever you need it.
How Long Can You Freeze Wild Garlic?
Like most soft, green herbs, you will want to use your wild garlic from the freezer within 4 to 6 months.
The longer you leave it, the more the flavour will degrade. The degradation won’t be huge, but it will be more noticeable the longer you leave it.
Make sure you stick a label on the bag you store your wild garlic, so you know exactly when you need to use it.
Unfortunately, once picked, wild garlic will deteriorate rapidly. In the fridge, it will only last for 2 or 3 days before it wilts.
How Do You Defrost Wild Garlic?
There’s actually no need to defrost your wild garlic. If you have frozen it in cubes or as pesto, stir the ice cube into your soup, sauce or pasta until it melts away and coats everything.
This works particularly well with vegetables. Boil, drain and then add a cube over a low heat until it melts away and coats your vegetables in wild garlic.
Can You Refreeze Wild Garlic?
We would strongly advise against refreezing wild garlic.
It will degrade the flavour rapidly. This is why we recommend freezing wild garlic in cubes. You can grab a cube as and when you need one and pop it straight into your cooking.
Does Wild Garlic Freeze Well?
Freezing wild garlic is a great way of preserving it.
There is a fairly high chance it will discolour slightly, especially if stored as whole leaves. But besides this discolouration, you’ll be hard-pushed to tell the difference between fresh and frozen.
You’ll still get that hit of garlic flavour.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing wild garlic or wild garlic in general, then these may help:
You certainly can. Make your garlic butter, wrap it in cling film and roll it into a log. You can freeze this log whole or slice the butter into rings to freeze. If slicing, then flash freeze on a lined baking tray before transferring to a bag.
Wild garlic flowers are delicate both in flavour and in texture. That’s why we would actually advise against freezing them. The trauma of freezing your wild garlic flowers can cause them to become quite mushy and lose their subtle garlic flavour.
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