Wild garlic pesto

Wild garlic is abundant at the moment and it is so easy and safe to forage because it has such a distinctive and unmistakeable smell that you can’t really go wrong! Buds have started appearing from within the foliage and many have already opened to reveal small sprays of delicate, white flowers – both equally good to use in cooking and garnishing.

The following recipe will produce a robust pesto with an intense garlic flavour.  If preferred, you can reduce the proportion of wild garlic leaves and increase the amount of parsley for a milder pesto. 

  • 50g pine nuts, toasted
  • 100g wild garlic leaves
  • 30g parsley
  • 50g Parmesan, grated
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  1. Sprinkle the pine nuts into a dry frying pan and toast them over a medium heat until they start turning golden brown. Allow them to cool.
  2. Blitz the wild garlic leaves, parsley, Parmesan and pine nuts in a food processor until roughly chopped. With the blade still turning, slowly add olive oil until the required consistency is achieved. Alternatively, pummel together the garlic leaves, parsley, Parmesan and nuts with a pestle and mortar before adding the oil.
  3. Add lemon juice and then season to taste. 
  4. Keep in the fridge until needed. Keeps for 3 days.

Wild garlic pesto is a wonderfully versatile ingredient. It is delicious with spaghetti, as a dip, as an ingredient in savoury tarts and pastries, served with roast lamb or with barbecued meat.

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