You know spring is fully here when you go on a dog walk and the forest greets you with the sweet aroma of wild garlic. It is honestly one of life’s little pleasures, well, to me anyway!
I usually like to pick the flowers and eat them as I meander through the woodland. On the return journey I usually grab a few handfuls to take home.
On the bank holiday just passed, I was out with the family in North Wales for a river walk where the wild garlic was out in abundance. My son and I jumped at the chance to fill our pockets!
This simple recipe is a classic of ours that has served us well for may years. It is great to put on a salad, slow cooked meats, on a sandwich, in a ravioli or over some spaghetti. It is so versatile and easy to make as well as a good way to introduce your little chefs to some safe foraging. You will find yourself putting it on everything and even when you run out, it’s a good excuse to take the kids and the dog out to get more.
It takes 5 minutes to make, so you have no excuse to pay for the processed stuff in the jar from the supermarket!
You will need the following:
100ml high quality oil (extra virgin olive, rapeseed or hemp oil work great)
1 large handful of wild garlic (get some flowers for garnish)
1 bunch of curly parsley
70g of toasted pine nuts
70g parmesan (grated)
A squeeze of lemon
Salt & pepper
Wash all of the leaves under the cold tap, then place them into your food processor. On a low heat, place the pine nuts into a pan and move them round the pan gently until they brown. This happens quickly so make sure you don’t burn them!
Into the food processor, grate in the parmesan, add the oil, lemon, salt and pepper and finally the toasted pine nuts.
Whizz them up to a consistency that you like, I like mine quite smooth so that it blends into foods better but each to their own.
You can change the oils, nuts and the cheese to make it your own. I tried it with hemp oil and gruyere cheese and it was divine! For a vegan option you can take out the cheese and toast off some fennel seeds for a different dimension to it. Basically, its so fool proof and delicious, the pesto-possibilities are endless, just use the wild garlic while you can!