With its fresh, garlicky smell wild garlic is an unmistakable scent in woodlands and forests in the spring months. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked to enjoy the mellow garlic flavour and freshness that makes wild garlic so unique. This pesto recipe is simple but incredibly versatile, whipped through pasta or peppery salad leaves, drizzled over fish, lamb or crispy potatoes. You can also tweak the recipe dependent on the contents of your pantry, I often swap out pine nuts for walnuts when making pesto.
This recipe is inspired by ingredients sent in this month's Forage Box, a subscription service delivering a monthly collection of wild/foraged foods. Forage Box aim to provide home cooks like me with 'snapshots’ of wild flavours and to showcase their potential in the kitchen. From syrups to salts, freshly picked to powdered, juice to jam, their foraged ingredients will delight and surprise you. Find out more information on the subscription and how to sign up here.
*Makes 275g jar of pesto
150g wild garlic leaves or young nettles, or a mixture (foraged – see tip)
50g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, finely grated
1 garlic clove , finely chopped
½ lemon , zested and a few squeezes of juice
50g pine nuts , toasted
150ml olive oil
Rinse you foraged wild garlic leaves thoroughly and then roughly chop.
Blitz the wild garlic leaves, parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and pine nuts to a rough paste in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper and add a few squeezes of lemon juice.
Transfer the pesto to a clean jar and top with the remaining oil. The pesto will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be easily frozen.