The Wild Garlic Season in Zurich

In spring, the area around Zurich smells of wild garlic. You can find out here what you need to look out for when picking it yourself and which restaurants serve wild garlic creations.

When the aroma of garlic hangs in the air in the forests around Zurich, it is a sure sign that the wild garlic season has arrived. This plant is related to chives, garlic, and onion. Thanks to its intensive aroma and common occurrence, the leaves are often used for cooking delicious dishes such as risotto, bratwurst sausages, or soups, which are then served up in Zurich’s households and restaurants.

Many amateur cooks and professional gastronomes pick their supply themselves, for in Zurich you do not have to go far to find it. Whether jogging, walking the dog, or enjoying an excursion with the children, all you need to do is follow your nose.

Wild garlic can be found between March and May in the following locations in Zurich:

  • Uetliberg
  • Rigiblick
  • Zürichberg
  • Käferberg
  • Werd island

But a word of caution! Wild garlic closely resembles lily of the valley. For this reason it is advisable to gently tear a leaf or rub it with your hands: if they smell of garlic, you have found the right plant. Be sure to wash your hands afterwards, for otherwise they will smell of garlic for a long time to come.

Home-made garlic pesto:
(makes ca. 350g pesto)

  • 100g freshly picked wild garlic
  • 50–80g pine nuts
  • 60g grated Parmesan
  • 1–1.5 dl rapeseed or olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • optional: lemon juice

To prepare: Thoroughly wash the wild garlic, pat it dry with kitchen paper, then coarsely chop. Purée or grind with a pestle & mortar the pine nuts together with the Parmesan, oil and ½ tsp salt to make a paste. Season with pepper and add lemon juice to taste.

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