Friday, 7 August 2015

Allium ursinum or Ramsons or Wild garlic

Allium ursinum or Ramsons or Wild garlic. Tanaman ini pernah aku temui ketika aku jalan-jalan ke Hallerbos, di Belgium. Ada sekelompok orang yang berhenti dan berbincang tentang tanaman yang baru mereka petik. Mereka bilang baunya seperti bawang putih. Penasaran, aku dan suami ikutan metik. (maaf ya…). Penasaran sekali ini sebenarnya tanaman apa. Tapi ketika memetik dan mencium baunya, beneran loh persis bawang putih. Dan yang terbayang saat itu adalah bikin omelet dengan potongan daun ini atau bikin mie rebus dengan potongan daun ini.

Penasaran banget dan masih terbayang sampai sekarang. Hari ini aku dipinjami buku tentang tanaman-tanaman yang bisa dimakan dari Inggris raya. Judul bukunya The Forager Handbook. A guide to the edible plants of Britain, karya Miles Irving, terbitan Ebury Press, UK tahun 2009. Aku dipinjami buku ini gara-gara nanya tentang bunga yang biasa dimasak orang Denmark. Aku pengen tahu barangkali ada bunga yang bisa menggantikan aroma bunga sedap malam untuk membuat kimlo. (episode ngidam kimlo). Sayang disayang aku tidak menemukan bunga yang satu family dengan bunga sedap malam. Kupikir kalau satu family barangkali punya aroma yang paling tidak mirip. Tapi lain hal, yang kutemukan dalam buku ini adalah tentang daun yang beraroma seperti bawang putih. Dan berikut informasi tentang daun yang "kutemukan" di Hallerbos. Aku salinkan dari bukunya ya…

Distribution up to 450m. In England, widespread, but less so Thames Estuary, Fens and East Midlands; in Wales, widespread throughout; in Ireland, scattered localities, most common in north and southeast; present Isle of Man. Introduced in Northern Isles and Jersey.
Habitat. Open woodland or hedgebanks on woodland edges.

Description. Quite unmistakable, if you take into account appearance, habitat and scent. Leaves are broader than all the other wild garlics, up to 25cm long and tapering at both ends; they emerge late February-early March as little shoots, later forming thick carpets that infuse the vicinity with the scent of garlic. Ballls of white star shaped flowers emerge early April, after which the leaves begin to wither, leaving the seed pods that swell at the flower bases as these die back.

Notes. One of the best known of our British wild foods, it is now cultivated by a number of growers to supply demand from restaurants. Ramsons is an indicator of ancient woodland; it always gives me goose bumps to think of the continuity of a place where it grows. People have probably gathered it for as long as our island has been populated; charred remains of a bulb were found at a Mesolithic site in Halsskov, Denamrk. More recently, bulbs were salted for year-round use in the Russian peninsula of Kamchatka. These days the leaf is the most popular part, perhaps because the bulbs of cultivated garlic are so widely available and the leaf provides a novel form in which to eat garlic.

Uses/Recipes. Bulbs are milder than cultivated garlic but tougher; use them like onions. For most uses, the stalks should be removed and cooked separately, for slightly longer than the green part – the blade – of the leaf. The volatile oil that gives the blade its flavor evaporates quickly on heating, so if you want a strong garlic flavor, cook briefly – this way the texture also remains. Use to finish off lamb stew; add them after blanching for just a couple of seconds. Use with pasta instead of garlic and parsley. If you do cook them for longer, the remaining flavor is more oniony and you will need to use a lot more leaves, which is fine as they are usually found in great abudance.
A plate of allium flavours: onion bouillon: put onions in oven in cling film, with a drop of water, on a rack above an open tray. Cook at 90 C for 24 hours. The onions caramelize and lose their juice – the bouillon – into the tray. Serve with cooked and pickled onions, onions compote, steamed large ramsons leaves and wild thyme oil. Last of all, add a forest of small foraged leaves, very small ramsons leaves, found beneath the mature plants and the small (1-2 cm wide) leaves of young garlic murtard.
Garlic oil: blend pomace olive oil with leaves or stalks and salt; the green-leaf oil looks amazing – use it for drizzling and dressing; stalk oil is less green, better for marinating.
Pesto: just garlic leaves, olive oil and walnuts.
Aioli: simply add ramsons leaves to mayonnaise and blend.
Canape of cherry tomatoes: stuff cherry tomatoes with wild garlic, cheddar, a tiny amount of crème fraiche and finely chopped eggs and whelks.
Wild garlic frittata: add chopped leaves to open omelette, finished under the grill. Or simply add the leaves to sandwiches, for example cream cheese and smoked salmon. The flowers look delightful and pack quite a garlic kick – throw them into soups before serving for a stunning visual effect. The swollen ovaries make them a bit overpowering for salads – crish the whole flower head and use them like garlic cloves in sauces, with fried potatoes or rubbed into meat. This is a much easier source of garlic than peeling and chopping cultivated garlic cloves. Seed pods can be crushed like garlic cloves; the whole head of seed pods can be deep fried.

Harvesting notes. This is multi-sensory foraging: you can often smell ramsons before you see it. If you collect the bulbs, thin out rather than clear an area. Seeds will fall on to the bare ground and sprout; the bulbs you leave will soon divide, replacing those taken.

*bulb: underground growth consisting of layers of swollen leaves, both a storage organ and a means of asexual reproduction. 

Dari buku ini saya mendapat banyak pengetahuan baru tentang bagaimana mengolah (tanaman yang ternyata punya nama) ramsons. Jadi gak Cuma bisa dibikin omelet atau dicemplungin ke mie rebus saja. Intinya buku ini mengenalkan berbagai jenis tanaman yang bisa dimakan, bagaimana aromanya dan bagaimana mengolahnya sebagai bahan utama yang berperan dalam sebuah masakan. Mengutip dari kata-kata dibelakang buku tersebut, “at any time, in any place, food is there for the taking – if only we knew how and where to look”. Bagaimana dengan kekayaan ragam hayati Indonesia? Peluang besar untuk membuat bukunya. Tidak hanya tentang bumbu-bumbu yang biasa ada di dapur eyang, tapi bisa juga menggali tanaman yang tidak biasa ada di dapur tapi sebenarnya dapat dimakan.