Wild garlic pesto is one of my favourite treats at this time of year. Wild garlic is one of small number of truly seasonal ingredients in my kitchen, and I’m keen to make the most of them whilst they’re available.
Wild garlic, also known as allium ursinum or ramsons, is found growing profusely in mostly shady spots from March to April in the UK and Ireland. It can often be found growing on banks alongside bluebells. Pick the leaves and the flowers too, if you fancy. Make sure you pick from a spot that’s away from traffic and looks untouched. It’s well worth taking the time to explore your local area for patches of wild garlic. I have a few I know about, so I either pick on a walk, or head out in the car and stop and pick the leaves from a spot near, but not too near the road in a very quite spot. I can just pull over, hop out and fill up a bag with leaves.
This recipe uses the leaves only. Pick the flowers too, but keep them separate and sauté them lightly in salted butter. Serve them on hot toasted sourdough bread for a delicious light meal or canapé. I like to store the pesto in a jar in the fridge and use it stirred through pasta, spooned on pan-fried fish or tossed through french beans.
- 125g wild garlic leaves, washed
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 60g whole almonds, or pine nuts
- 175ml olive oil
- Pinch sea salt
- If you have a food processor, this recipe is the perfect opportunity to use it. Simply place all the ingredients into the bowl and whizz until you reach the desired texture. I like to retain a rough quality to the pesto, rather than a very smooth.
- To make this without the processor, just chop the wild garlic leaves finely, and pound the ingredients together in a large pestle and mortar or molacajete.
- The pesto keeps well stored in a jar in the fridge. Just ensure you top up the jar with a little extra oil first, to form a protective barrier between the pesto, which will help preserve it.