Foraging Wild Garlic
The leaves and flowers of the wild garlic plant are edible. You can find it in many forests. The leaves are around from march and are best picked young. The flowers usually appear April to June. Do make sure you know what you’re picking – before they flower lily of the valley looks quite similar to wild garlic but is poisonous.
As well as making pesto you can also use wild garlic in soups and salads.
Wild Garlic Pesto
Our wild garlic was sent to us in our Riverford organic veg box this week. I was excited to see it as I’d never really cooked with it. I decided to ease myself in with a simple Wild Garlic Pesto.
I also added basil into my pesto for a touch of the traditional, lemon for freshness and pine nuts for a rich creamy texture. If you prefer a pesto with more bite add some whole pine nuts in after blitzing.
Pesto is traditionally made with Parmesan or similar hard cheese, but vegetarians will want to avoid this due to the use of animal rennet. I use a strong cheddar but try the recipe using your favourite vegetarian cheeses and see what works for you. Pregnant ladies might also want to avoid any cheese made with unpasteurised milk.
This recipe also works really well without cheese for vegans.
It’s super easy to make. Simply stick everything in a food processor and blitz!
Healthy Wild Garlic
As well as being delicious it’s good for you. Garlic is widely known for its antibacterial, antibiotic and possibly antiviral properties, and contains vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and copper. Studies have also shown that it may help reduce blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.
This wild garlic pesto is also used in this gnocchi recipe with cherry tomatoes and kale.
- Wild Garlic Pesto
- 100g Wild garlic
- 30g Basil
- 50g pine nuts (some can be added whole at the end)
- Juice and zest of ½ lemon
- 30g cheese of your choice (optional)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Approx. 2 tbsp. water
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz to desired consistency
- (If you prefer pesto with more bite, reserve some pin nuts to add after blitzing)
- Add water to loosen
- Taste and add extra lemon and seasoning to taste
* Wild garlic is full of healthy vitamins and antioxidents
* Recipe makes about 6 servings.
* It will keep happily in the fridge for a good few days or you can freeze it to easily add to recipes when needed.