Ramsons – Allium ursinum

Alternatively called wild garlic, Ramsons spend most of the year as bulbs underground in ancient, damp woodlands, only emerging to flower and leaf from April onwards. This early spring flowering allows them to make the most of the sunlight that is still able to make it to their forest floor habitat and attracts the attention of plenty of pollinating insects including hoverflies, butterflies and longhorn beetles. Millions of bulbs may exist in one wood, causing the white, starry carpets and strong garlic smell we so keenly associate with this flower.

Ramsons / Wild Garlic Pesto

garlic pesto

Wild garlic pesto

A popular recipe and one which will stun guests and it’s so simple to make.
30g fresh Ramsons leaves
50g Parmesan (or Pecorino) cheese
25g almonds / pine nuts / pumpkin seeds / sunflower seeds (or a mixture)
5 glugs of olive oil
pinch of sea salt

Here’s how to do it

Put all in a blender and process til blended!

Did you know

It is likely that they contain the same chemicals as give Garlic its odour – Allicin and Diallyl Sulphide.  These  are sulphur containing compounds formed from the amino acid, cysteine.  Such compounds probably act as a defence against pests.

The Latin name (ursinum) is due to the brown bear’s taste for the bulbs and its habit of digging up the ground to get at them. Think of the constellation – the big bear – Ursa major!!

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