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Bärlauch this time around

Wildgarlicblossomsbärlauchblüten

Every spring I thrill to the bunches of wild garlic in the market stalls and shops. I had never tasted Bärlauch before I came to Berlin, though I went on to discover its many English names. In seasons past I've made Bärlauchspätzle and Bärlauch paneer, and any number of attempts at a full-bodied creamy Bärlauch soup (never, sadly, finding a recipe that stuck -- suggestions?). But it's only this spring that I've really hit my stride.

A Bärlauch quinoa salad has become a lunchbox staple for the past month, while a batch of delicate Bärlauch ricotta fritters left a dinner guest unreasonably elated. I promised that guest this recipe, and while I'm writing it down, thought you might like to have it too.

Oh and isn't it pleasing when your bunch of Bärlauch comes with a few starry white blossoms tucked amidst the broad oval leaves? I intended the ones above to be used as a garnish; instead, I popped first one sprig, then another into my mouth as I cooked, and soon they were all gone.

Bärlauch ricotta fritters

1 bunch Bärlauch (ramps), thinly sliced into ribbons
250 g ricotta
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt & ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup semolina

Wilt the Bärlauch in a skillet for a few minutes, then mix with the remaining ingredients. Film a frying pan with butter, then drop in the batter by spoonfuls. Fry til browned on the bottom (about 4 minutes) then flip and repeat. Serve with homemade ketchup if you have some.

Comments

Oh how pretty Sylee. I had never tried Bärlauch before last month, or quinoa either and now I'm simply dying to try them together. I just bought some more wild garlic today but sadly without its lovely flowers.

This is lovely although any literature which I have read about picking it, recommends that it is harvested just before the flowers bloom claiming that the leaves are much sweeter. Have you heard this?

how pretty the blooms! of course, when i hear 'ramps' my first thought is 'rapunzel'!

Those flowers are so good... And now we know where to get them in the wild.
Thanks again for yesterday!

For me it's always funny to hear that people pay a fortune for a little bunch of Bärlauch. You can easily grow it in your garden (even pots will do, in shady places) and find it in old gardens everywhere. Like in my mum's ... yummy!

i had never heard about bärlauch until i moved here, it was so amazing to walk around in the forest and feel the scent of onion everywhere. this sounds delicious!

Emily, I know, quinoa was one of those grains that had eluded me until April. I'll post that recipe too -- it's the perfect picnic dish.

Elizabeth, it's interesting, I went on a guided forage through a forest outside of Berlin and the woman leading mentioned that too, but said she thought the leaves after flowering were just as full of flavor, if a touch tougher. And of course the flowers themselves are unforgettable!

Jonquil, "ramps" always sounds so playful.

Suzy, I loved your post on our walk. I need to post my pictures of the blossoms on your salad!

Dodo, you're right, it's always strange to be out in the country seeing in abundance those ingredients you have to buy in the city. But when I don't have time to foraging it's a euro well-spent.

Sandra, yum, which forest where you in? At the herb walk Elisabeth was saying the woods around Plänterwald are full of a Siberian strain that's particularly tender and a little milder. Might be worth exploring if at next weekend's festivities...

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