Whether made with pine nuts or almonds, Parmesan or cheddar, this wild garlic pesto is not only delicious, but a great way to use your foraged wild garlic. Out of season, you can use basil, parsley, spinach or other soft greens instead.
Wild garlic is a forager’s favourite: it’s easy to see, easy to identify and easy to gather. It tastes great too if you’re a garlic lover like I am. The season is quite short, so time is of the essence. Every year I make several batches of wild garlic pesto. It’s so good and so versatile, I use it in all sorts of recipes, although it’s really good just spread on toast or crackers. But more of that later.
Wild Garlic Foraging
Wild garlic, also known as ramsons (Allium ursinum), is a damp loving plant related to chives. It emerges in woodlands in early spring and the leaves and flowers are both edible with a definite garlic flavour.
Whilst it’s true that wild garlic is easy to identify, it’s important when foraging that you are 100% sure you know what you’re picking.
Wild garlic could be mistaken for lily of the valley or cuckoo pint, both of which are poisonous. If it doesn’t smell strongly of garlic, don’t pick it. This webpage might prove useful. Before you go helping yourself, do make sure you’ve got permission to harvest from the landowner.
Wild Garlic Pesto
I’ve seen recipes where wile garlic is cooked before blitzing into a pesto. There’s absolutely no need to do that. Just make sure you’ve washed the leaves well and give them a good few shakes in a colander before using.
I used my optimum 9200A Froothie power blender for this super quick no fuss wild garlic pesto. Once the wild garlic leaves are picked, washed and dried, it’s just a simple process of bunging everything into the blender and pressing a button. A food processor should be able to do the job too.
You can, of course, use any nut you have to hand to make pesto and cheese is optional. I’ve made two batches so far and both were delicious.
I went with the classic basil pesto ingredients of pine nuts, Parmesan and olive oil for my first attempt as I just happened to have them in the house. I know Parmesan Reggiano isn’t vegetarian, but there are various Parmesan type cheeses available that are suitable. Parmesan is just a good shorthand that everyone understands.
The second batch, made a few days later for freezing, contained almonds and cheddar cheese.
How to Freeze Pesto
The best way to freeze pesto is to spoon a freshly made batch into ice cube trays. Pop them into the freezer overnight. Once frozen, remove from the trays and place in a freezer bag. You can then remove just one or more at your leisure. They will keep well for at least three months.
One of the best uses for pesto is, of course, pasta. I like to prepare some wholemeal pasta in the normal way and then throw in a few broccoli florets about four to five minutes before the pasta is ready.
Once drained, I stir through a couple of spoons of pesto and hey presto, you have a very quick but delicious and nutritious meal.
I also spread it on toast and use it as a sandwich filling. I’ve a fab recipe for wild garlic cheese scones too.
Recipes Using Wild Garlic You Might Like
- Asparagus tarts via Tin and Thyme
- Beetroot muffins with walnuts and wild garlic via Tin and Thyme
- Cheese and wild garlic scones via Tin and Thyme
- Chilli roasted oca with hedgerow pesto – via Tin and Thyme
- Wild garlic and goat’s cheese brunch muffins via Tin and Thyme
- Cornish asparagus risotto via Tin and Thyme
- Wild garlic oatcakes via A2K – A Seasonal Veg Table
- Feta and wild garlic muffins via Recipes From A Pantry
- Wild garlic tattie scones via Foodie Quine
Wild Garlic Pesto. PIN IT.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this wild garlic pesto, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more recipes for dips and spread, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Wild Garlic Pesto – The Recipe
Wild Garlic Pesto
- 150 g wild garlic leaves – well washed and dried
- 100 g pine nuts or blanched almonds
- 100 g vegetarian parmesan type cheese or a good cheddar cheese
- 125 ml extra virgin olive oil plus a little bit more to pour over the top
- Place everything in a blender or food processor and blitz until combined and you have the texture you like – I use my Optimum Blender.
- Spoon into small sterilised jars (I made 3 jars with this quantity). Top with a little olive oil and seal. Store in the fridge.
I’m sending my wild garlic pesto pasta to Jac at Tinned Tomatoes for Meat Free Mondays.
I use the Optimum 9200A for smoothies, spreads, sauces and even chocolate making. The post contains affiliate links. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. This helps keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging. Opinions are, as always, my own.