Wild Garlic Pesto

With the wild garlic springing up in the garden my mind has turned to making pesto. We actually have the Three Cornered Leek (Allium triquetrum) rather than Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum), but it’s culinary use is the same.

If you’re picking this in the wild be sure to follow the usual guidelines for foraging: always ensure you’ve identified the correct plant and that it’s edible, pick only from clean sites – this is especially important with greens as they can accumulate toxins, and take only what you need leaving plenty to reproduce for next year.

Pesto is a great way to store tasty greens, and is super easy to make. The recipe I used below is just a starting point, as the fantastic thing about making your own is that you can make it how you like, adjusting to your taste. There’s no right or wrong, so if you like it thicker, nuttier, or saltier, just add more of what you like.

Pesto works equally well for other greens such as Rocket, Watercress, Nettles (blanched to stop them stinging), or the classic Basil, though you may need to adjust the amount of leaves. The type of nut can be changed to whatever you have – you can substitute Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Cashews, or Sunflower seeds. If you find the leaves aren’t as strong a garlic flavour as you’d like then add a peeled garlic clove to the mix.

Wild Garlic Pesto Recipe

Makes 1 Jar:

  • 150ml Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
  • 50gm Wild Garlic leaves
  • 50gm Almonds
  • 40gm Parmesan
  • Garlic Clove (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

How to Make Wild Garlic Pesto

  1. First make sure you have sterilized your jars and lids and washed your leaves.
  2. Combine the oil, leaves and nuts in a food processor, or pestle and mortar.
  3. Stir in the grated Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. If it’s a little bitter, a pinch of sugar at the end works a treat to balance the flavours.
  5. Store in the sterilized jar in the fridge and cover the top of the pesto with a layer of olive oil to seal from the air. This should store for several weeks, though you can also freeze your pesto to preserve for longer, just remember that it’s best to add the cheese once defrosted.