Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Inwood Field Garlic Walk

Join me this Sunday [originally Saturday but postponed because of wind] in Inwood Hill Park for a three-hour walk and picnic. It is barely spring, but we will be hunting (and eating) field garlic.

Allium vineale is that delicious invasive onion that reappears in late autumn after a later summer dormancy, perseveres through winter as skinny leaves, and fattens up in spring. Call it crow garlic, lawn chives, wild chives, wild onion - but don't call it boring. It has all the properties we love in domesticated garlic and onions.

I make a vivid wet salt with field garlic leaves every year. It behaves the way a bouillon cube does, giving broths and soups and stews (and eggs, always eggs) a foundation of flavor.

Field garlic compound butter is delicious.  On this walk I will replicate the picnic I made in March 2014, which featured a field garlic cheese bread with this butter and a garlic mustard pesto. It's my five-year wild walk anniversary, and the picnics have grown in scope.

The early leaves of potent garlic mustard are beginning to appear (their peak season is late April into May).

And we may see the pink tips of super-invader, Japanese knotweed.

Another intensely herbal (think lovage) invasive edible is ground elder, or bishop's weed. Its early leaves are thinking about appearing.

Will there be daylily shoots, yet? I am not sure! Come and find out with me.

Every late March is different (in 2014 we had a big snowfall). But on their warm slope it is possible we will find the earliest of nettle tips.

And wonderful spicebush. My kitchen's favorite, hands down. There will be fragrant twigs and early buds.

Taste it in our picnic's dessert (chocolate roulade stuffed with sour cherries and spicebush)...

Tickets are $50 and the walk is from 12pm to 3pm, on Sunday the 24th. (If you can't make this one see my Forage Walks and Classes page for many other options).


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