Fresh Goat Cheese and Wild Garlic Spread/Dip

Wild garlic season is short, so I make sure I buy it every week while it lasts. Last Saturday, the nice lady who keeps my favourite goat cheese stall (at my French farmers’ market there are now three stalls selling exclusively goat cheese!) suggested I combine fresh goat cheese and wild garlic. As soon as I came home I made this simple spread and it was so perfectly delicious I still wonder why I haven’t thought about it earlier… If you’ve never tasted wild garlic, chopping it into a bowl of fresh cheese and spreading it on a slice of bread is a great starting point.

Ramsons, wild garlic, buckrams, bear’s garlic, bear paw garlic… (Allium Ursinum) is a wild, wide-leaved plant with a very distinct garlic scent and apparently a favourite of bears, who would dig out its bulbs (hence the name). Its edible long leaves are very similar to those of the lily of the valley and mixing them up is very dangerous, since the latter are toxic. The strong smell created when the leaves are rubbed is the only way to distinguish them if one is not an experienced forager. Planting its bulbs in one’s garden (the seeds are sold in Swiss gardening shops) or buying from a trustworthy market stall is even safer! … 

Wild garlic grows all around Europe but while its use in the kitchen is popular in certain countries, it is almost non-existent in the others and often limited to rural areas. In Switzerland it appears in April and disappears in May and is so popular, it can be found on many market stalls and even in supermarkets. It is extremely versatile and can be treated as a spinach or other leaf substitute but also as a condiment, a milder cousin of garlic. If you find yourself with a big bunch of wild garlic, here are some other ideas:

Chicken with Wild Garlic and Cashew Nuts
Chicken with Wild Garlic and Cashew Nuts
Wild Garlic Pillows
Wild Garlic Pillows
Wild Garlic Pesto
Wild Garlic Pesto
Mock Spanakopita Rolls with Wild Garlic

TIPS: I’ve used here fresh goat cheese but if you don’t have access to it (or don’t like it), you can use cow or ewe cheese instead (or thick yogurt, such as Greek yogurt). It just must be fresh and slightly tangy.

Preparation: about ten minutes

Ingredients (serves as a snack for two-three):

250 g fresh goat cheese (or cow/ewe fresh cheese)

125 ml yogurt or sour cream

10 big wild garlic leaves choppes

salt to taste

Combine all the ingredients, add more yogurt if the consistency is too thick (and maybe more wild garlic leaves).

You can serve it immediately, but the taste improves (becomes more garlicky) after several hours in the fridge.

This spread/dip will keep several days in the fridge.

18 Replies to “Fresh Goat Cheese and Wild Garlic Spread/Dip”

  1. I went wild garlic picking in the woods with a friend last week and came home with a huge basket full of it. I made pesto, wild garlic paste, feta spread, soup, chicken curry, vegetable stir fry and bread. We had wild garlic in one form or another a whole week long. 🙂 I froze the pesto and the paste in small batches and the paste would be very suitable to stir into goat cheese as well. I will definitely try it, I am so sure I would like it.
    Thank you for the tip with the garlic, I have already stuck 3 garlic cloves in a flower pot and I will try the herb patch as well as soon as the snow is gone.

    1. Hi Adina, lucky you!!! The only Swiss friend who likes foraging lives several hundred km from my town, so I have to buy wild garlic on markets or in shops 🙁 (Going on one’s own is not such a pleasure…). You can try this dip/spread with Greek yogurt, quark or the cheese found in Russian shops mixed with some yogurt too!
      I am glad I could help with garlic leaves! I hope you will be able to have harvest quickly (though the quickest results are obtained with “old” sprouting garlic).
      And do not hesitate to tell me if you want some Asian garlic chives seeds!

      1. I’ve made this spread yesterday with wild garlic paste instead of fresh leaves (I don’t have any anymore and as it is snowing again I don’t feel like wondering around in the forest again). It was delicious and so easy to make.

        1. Hi Adina, thank you so much for this kind message. I’m so happy you liked the idea and modified it in such a delicious way. I often prepare wild garlic pesto, so now it’s my turn to try your idea 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for the link. This recipe doesn’t figure in any of her two books, I think. (Though there is a garlic clove – about 40 cloves ! – curry in her first book I’ve been planning to make for ages… A perfect dish for garlic lovers).
      It reminds me a bit (visually) of the Kenyan coriander curry I posted once

  2. That spread looks so good, Sissi. I love the strong flavor and aroma of garlic, so the milder version like wild garlic would definitely suit my palate. Thank you, Sissi. 🙂

  3. I have so much wild garlic in my garden, that I don’t need to find it elsewhere. I have never seen it for sale in Britain.

    1. Lucky you to have a garden! If I had one I’d sow wild garlic (they sell seeds in Switzerland). It’s a pity it’s not sold in UK…. I’m sure it would make many happy buyers. I don’t go foraging, don’t have a garden, so I’m glad I can buy it on markets here and in nearby France!

  4. I’ve had wild onion (ramps as they are called, also from the allium family, which grow wild across Canada and Eastern US and which many love to forage for) but you know, I’m not sure if I’ve ever had wild garlic… as you say, it may be more common in Europe – I will look out for them though at our farmer’s market… We tried unsuccessfully to propagate our own garlic in our backyard but I don’t think that would qualify as wild in any event ;o). Either way, the combination of goat cheese and garlic does sound like a winner; what a great tip you received.

    1. Thanks a lot, Kelly. I thought wild garlic was common in the US/Canada too. I don’t know what wild onion looks like, but here’s an article about wild garlic (with a photo):
      It has wide leaves (almost identical to lily-of-the-valley) and it’s called wild garlic because it grows in the “wild” nature (apparently cultivated wild garlic is quite recent) and of course because it smells definitely like garlic. Normal garlic has thin, flat leaves, so it’s a different plant (though still from Allium genus).
      I can send you some wild garlic seeds if you want! It’s sold in gardening shops here. (It should be sown in early autumn, I think). Let me know if you are interested!

  5. Our farmers’ markets are not open yet, it really has just begun to warm up. I will keep my eye open for wild garlic, it sounds absolutely wonderful!

    1. Thank you so much, Eva! You mean Canadian farmers’ markets close for the winter? I hope they will open soon then! If it grows naturally in Canada (am not sure), you might look around your cottage too!

  6. I am SO jealous! Fresh goat cheese and wild garlic…I want some! I’ve still never seen wild garlic here, but I’m going to keep looking. Bet this dip taste fantastic. Wish I could try it! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. I remember you told me there aren’t any wild garlic plants in your region. I can send you some seeds if you want (they are sown in the autumn). Hoping they won’t attract bears to your garden 😉

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