There’s no ingredient quite like wild garlic. It has a fresh, garlicky flavour that grows in shaded, damp woodlands during the cooler, wetter months. Its season is short which is why it can be a great idea to freeze wild garlic to give yourself a long term supply of the stuff.
To freeze wild garlic, you can either pack the leaves into a bag or ice cube tray and freezer or you can turn the wild garlic into a pesto and freeze this into cubes, instead.
How to Freeze Wild Garlic
When freezing wild garlic, there are two approaches you can take. You can either freeze the leaves as they come or you can turn the leaves into a pesto and freeze this instead. We’ve covered both options below:
How to Freeze Wild Garlic Leaves
If you’re pushed for time or aren’t sure you want to turn your wild garlic into a pesto yet then this is the best way to freeze the leaves:
- Clean and Dry
As wild garlic is generally foraged, it’s worth giving them a good clean to remove any dirt and grit. You don’t want to freeze them covered in muck. Once clean, give them a good dry using kitchen paper towels.
- Bag Up and Seal
Place the leaves into a bag and seal the bags up. As you seal them out, squeeze the air out of the top to ensure they are kept airtight.
Write a clear label on the bag stating the contents and the date. Once frozen, wild garlic could look like any other leafy vegetable.
Finally, place the bag of wild garlic into the freezer where it will keep for a few months.
If you’re using them in a hot dish then you can use them from frozen. If, however, you want to make a dressing or sauce then you’ll need to give them a few hours to thaw out at room temperature.
How to Freeze Wild Garlic Pesto
Although this takes a bit more prep work upfront, this is the preferred way to freeze wild garlic. It means it’s far more useable directly from the freezer and is an instant way to add a kick of flavour to a range of dishes:
- Make Pesto
There are many decent wild garlic pesto recipes on the internet, including this one from Riverford. So the first step is to knock up a batch of pesto using one of those recipes.
- Portion Into an Ice Cube Tray
Once you’ve made the pesto, portion it out into an ice cube tray. Don’t overfill the slots, instead try to fill them up around 90% of the way to allow for some expansion.
- Freeze Into Cubes
Place the ice cube tray into the freezer to freeze the cubes of pesto. You can optionally wrap the tray in a sheet of cling film to keep them protected.
- Remove and Bag Up
Once frozen solid, remove the cubes from the tray and pop them into a labelled freezer bag. Seal the bag up, removing any excess air as you do so.
- Return to the Freezer
Finally, place the bag of pesto cubes into the freezer and store them for up to 6 months.
You don’t need to defrost wild garlic pesto. Grab a cube or two and stir it through hot soup, casseroles, stews, pasta or sauces. If you do need to defrost it, place a cube into a bowl and leave to thaw slowly.
How to Freeze Wild Garlic Successfully
You now know how to freeze wild garlic but here are a few tips and tricks to stick with to ensure you have no issues with freezing it successfully:
- Use From Frozen – If you’ve got a bland soup, boring stew or tasteless sauce then grab a frozen cube of wild garlic pesto, pop it in and give it a quick stir. It’s a super quick way to elevant any dish.
- Make It Into a Pesto – Pesto is the go-to dish to make with wild garlic. Save yourself the future effort by freezing it as a pesto which can be used in a range of dishes.
- Use Thick, Good-Quality Bags – Wild garlic is pungent. If you use shoddy freezer bags then before you know it, your entire freezer and its contents will take on the smell and flavour of garlic. You could also use a Tupperware container with a tight-fitting lid.
Does Wild Garlic Freeze Well?
Yes, wild garlic does freeze well. You may find that leaves frozen on their own turn mushy but will retain that iconic garlicky flavour. This is the case for most leafy green vegetables, unfortunately.
The best way to freeze wild garlic, however, is as a pesto. You’ll have no issues with texture, it will retain its punchy flavour and it won’t take up much room in the freezer. They can also be used from frozen to add instant flavour to dishes.
Freezing Wild Garlic FAQs
If you still have questions about freezing wild garlic, these FAQs might help you out. If not, feel free to drop a comment at the bottom of the page:
Yes, you can freeze wild garlic butter. Simply blend wild garlic with unsalted butter, season to taste and then roll into a sausage shape using cling film. You can freeze this butter log then, when you need some, just slice a ring off from frozen.
Not necessarily. If you want to turn the leaves into a cold dish then you’ll need to defrost them. Other than that, wild garlic can be used from frozen in cooked dishes.
Unfortunately, wild garlic will not keep for a long time in the fridge. It will begin to turn limp after just a couple of days and its flavour will degrade within a few days too.
Lewis is the founder and editor of Let’s Foodie alongside other food-related platforms including FreezeIt and SubstituteIt. He launched Let’s Foodie to provide aspiring cooks with one place to get the answers to some of the most commonly asked cooking questions.