One of the finest treats of spring for me is using wild garlic that grows along the lanes here. This Wild Garlic Pesto is my favourite way to use this tasty and richly aromatic plant.
Spring in all her glorious abundance fills the air with fragrance and the land with the joyous bounty of flowers, blossoms and verdant greenery.
There is also the amazing scents of spring.
One such gorgeous green that has a seriously strong (some might say pungent) scent is wild garlic.
You know how memories are triggered by smells? Well, wild garlic takes me back to being a little girl and walking down the lane to the stables. There was wild garlic growing all around and the smell could almost knock you for six.
Wild garlic is just one of the many goodies nature gives us free in springtime. When you are foraging for your wild garlic take care not to strip any plant entirely, take a few leaves from one plant and some from another.
Looking for more foraging recipes? Then take a look at my Foraging Collection here on Larder Love.
What is wild garlic
This plant is a British native and has a few other names just to confuse people. It can be called bear leek, bear’s garlic, broad-leafed garlic, wood garlic, buckrams and also ramsons.
It grows in woodland and likes shady spots. You will find the leaves popping out of the ground from March onwards and the gorgeous white flowers appearing in April and May.
You can eat everything with wild garlic. The leaves, stems, flowers, root bulb and the seeds too.
Can you freeze wild garlic?
Since this gorgeous plant is only available for such a short time it is a good idea to collect some and freeze it for later use.
Simply chop the wild garlic and press into the sections of an ice-cube tray and top with a little water. Once frozen you can tip out the wild garlic cubes and store them in a freezer bag.
Now back to that wild garlic pesto recipe. It is simplicity itself and all you need are four ingredients and a little seasoning.
The great thing about wild garlic pesto is that you don’t have to bother with peeling and chopping any garlic, this gorgeous greenery has all the garlic flavouring you’ll need. Bit of a result in my book.
Check out my recipe for Wild Garlic Oil. It’s another great way to use this wonderful plant while it’s at it’s best.
I just used 1 cup of wild garlic leaves and stems chopped
Two tablespoons of toasted flaked almonds plus two tablespoons of grated parmesan
About a quarter of a cup of good quality olive oil plus salt and pepper to taste.
You can use the traditional pine nuts for your wild garlic pesto. I use almonds as I just love their flavour and they go well here. Almonds are also a lot cheaper than pine nuts.
How to make wild garlic pesto
While I used my new mortar and pestle to grind mine in the traditional way you can throw history to the winds and switch on your food processor and just give those ingredients a good blast of bladed motion.
Taste the resulting pesto and season with salt and pepper and maybe a little lemon juice to taste.
How to serve this pesto
That’s it, so seriously simple and so fabulously tasty. Serve it with salmon and seafood, with chicken or pork or do my very favourite thing and stir a good dollop into homemade hummus for a fabulous dip.
But wild garlic pesto is just perfection on pasta. A simple bowl of spaghetti with this pesto and you have a fabulously foraged meal in a matter of minutes.
Or turn it into a creamy wild garlioc pesto dip by stirring through some Greek yogurt. Serve with veggies or crisps/chips to dip in there.
Wild garlic pesto will keep in the fridge for two weeks. Just make sure the top of the pesto is covered with a little oil to prevent oxidisation which changes the colour of the pesto making it darker.
You can freeze your wild garlic pesto for up to 3 months.
Looking for more delicious pesto recipes? Then check these out before you go;
As you’ll have gathered I rather like pesto. So much so I wrote a cookbook about it, A Passion For Pesto with over 75 recipes and uses for this gorgeous stuff.
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Wild Garlic Pesto
- 1 cup wild garlic
- 2 tbsp almonds flaked
- 2 tbsp parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toast the flaked almonds in a dry pan for approximately 1 minute till golden and aromatic. Watch these like a hawk as they can burn so easily.
- Allow to cool and then pulse in food processor.
- Add the wild garlic and parmesan and pulse again.
- Now drizzle in the olive oil till you have the consistancy you prefer.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and maybe some lemon juice.