Chickweed in a pestle & mortar

Hawthorn Basket



Harvesting ramsons
Ramsons leaves can be harvested as soon as they appear in spring, and are at their best before the flowers open. The flowers are tasty, sprinkled on salads and other food. The bulbs can also be eaten, but we prefer to leave them to grow again the next year. Ramsons are locally abundant, so you should be able to harvest and preserve plenty of leaves without needing to disturb the bulbs.

Ramsons pesto
Put ramsons leaves and enough olive oil to cover them in a blender. Blend until smooth. This vivid green sauce can be eaten fresh with pasta just like the more familiar Italian pesto made with basil and garlic. You can alter the taste by adding chopped pine nuts or sunflower seeds and freshly grated pecorino cheese. It is delicious spooned onto savoury foods and can be added to salad dressings. This pesto can be frozen in small batches for use throughout the year.

Ramsons sauce
Another way to preserve ramsons is to blend as above, but use 1 part cider or white wine vinegar to 3 parts olive oil as the liquid. The
vinegar helps preserve the ramsons, and a jar of this will keep well in the fridge for months if it doesn’t get eaten before then!