Three-cornered leek, also know as three-cornered garlic, is quite abundant along the roadside where I live in North Sligo, Ireland. The plant is originally of Mediterranean origin and was brought to Ireland about 300 years ago. It’s an invasive plant that can easily spread and become dominant if unchecked. So I suppose the most environmentally friendly way of keeping it under control is eating it! Of course gorging on garlic smelling greens will do nothing for your social life, so a balance needs to be struck!
The plant is technically an onion. It’s stems are triangular or three-angled and form a ridge running from the base up towards the plant tip. The skinny three-cornered leek grows from about November until February, with the white hanging flowers blooming from February until May . The plant has a strong smell of garlic, which easily identifies it.
They are more common in the south of Ireland and coastal areas where there is less frost. In some cases in the past they were planted in stately homes owned by wealthy landlords, only to be dug up by poor tenants and replanted in their gardens.
It is also said that peasants long ago hung the plant over their doors to fend off vampires!
Three cornered leeks can be eaten raw in a salad, fermented, made into pesto or added to hummus. On this occasion I decided to try my hand at making hummus.
Check out the recipe below!
Three Cornered Leek Hummus with Beetroot.
400g of chickpeas
250g of light tahini
100g of wild three cornered leeks
100g of beetroot (I used raw pickled beetroot for this recipe)
30ml of Olive oil
Juice of one lemon
teaspoon of sea salt
teaspoon of paprika
Drain the chickpeas and wash the wild leeks clean. Add all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Taste as you blitz and add salt, lemon or paprika to suit your taste. And that’s it!
Those pictures are absolutely gorgeous!
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Thanks for the recipe as spring is coming fast! The leeks that usually grow near my house are near a river that is too dirty to forage from but I am glad there are still many places where they grow unharmed. Cheers!
Yep, it’s best to side with caution when foraging near a water source!
This species is very common in Southern Italy and we use it to prepare frittata!
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Really?! I must try and make some!