Recipes from the wild: Field garlic butter

Marie Viljoen is a professional writer, forager and cook who likes to gather her food from the land around her rather than relying on the supermarket! Here she shares her mouth watering recipe for field garlic butter and the many delicious ways to use it:

Field garlic is Allium vineale, an invasive in North America that resembles chives. Wild garlic is easy to identify and absolutely delicious. Foragers should detect a strong garlic smell when the stalks are snapped.

This recipe also works for European ramsons (Allium ursinum) and three-cornered leeks (Allium triquetrum).

Compound butters are an easy and delicious way to use and preserve forages. Use the best butter you can find.


4 sticks/440 gr unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups chopped field garlic greens (clean, and very dry)
1/2 cup cleaned field garlic bulbs, tough outer skins removed


Cut the butter into chunks and drop it into the bowl of a food processor. Add the chopped greens and the field garlic bulbs that you have successfuly foraged. Pulse until well mixed, pausing every now and then to scrape down the sides.

If you don’t have a food processor, chop all the field garlic very finely. Mix the butter with the field garlic in a large bowl, with a wooden spoon. or use a large pestle and mortar.

Pack the compounded butter into small, sterilized jars and freeze, or use within one week. Keep cold. In the freezer the butter will be good for six months.


How to use field garlic butter:

  • Melted, and poured over a poached egg, on good sourdough toast.
  • Slathered over hot, baked potatoes.
  • Whipped into egg yolks for deviled eggs.
  • Stirred into hot tagliatelle, with a squeeze of lemon and a grating of bottarga.
  • Dabbed onto a rested steak, hot off the grill.
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