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Wild Garlic pesto recipe: How to forage and cook with this delicious herb.

April 24, 2022 3 min read

Wild Garlic pesto recipe: How to forage and cook with this delicious herb.

Wild Garlic pesto recipe: How to forage and cook with this delicious herb.

After the long slog of winter, the arrival of Spring is very welcome! Not least because it brings with it wild garlic season and one of our favourite seasonal recipes, wild garlic pesto! As long as you’re in possession of a blender, this recipe could not be easier, and it certainly delivers on flavour!

If you’ve ever smelt the pungent, heady aroma of garlic whilst out walking, you’ve probably been very close to a patch of one of the tastiest, most prevalent wild foods out there. Wild garlic is a forager’s favourite, and its fleeting abundance at this time of year is a boon for chefs and home cooks alike.

Where to find wild garlic

If you’re new to foraging, wild garlic is a great ingredient to get started with as the strong-smelling plant can easily be sniffed out. What’s more the distinctive leaves are easily identified for peace of mind whilst foraging. Wild garlic likes to grow in woodlands or forest, in shady, damp spots. It’s a perennial plant (comes back year after year) which begins to grow in February/March time until around June/July.

If not primarily by its smell, you will recognise this edible plant by its long, smooth leaves which end in a point, when it’s flowering, you’ll see small white star-shaped heads. Wild garlic leaves and flowers are edible, both raw or cooked. It has a milder flavour than bulb-garlic and has lots of culinary and medicinal uses.

Look for younger, more tender leaves as these are the tastiest. It’s best to only take 2 or 3 leaves from each plant. Never pull or dig up whole plants as this can be damaging to the eco-system and is technically illegal, even on public land, while taking leaves is not.

How to forage wild garlic responsibly

Usually, wild garlic grows in abundance so it’s perfectly fine to take a handful home with you but there are some things you might want to consider:

  • If the land is privately owned always ask permission before foraging anything.
  • Make sure to pick a small amount, proportional with how large the patch is. You will want to leave enough for others, and also make sure you do not prevent the plants from thriving and coming back next year.
  • Consider wildlife and other plants in the surrounding area. If the plant you’re foraging is their food source, you must make sure to leave enough that the eco-system can remain unaffected. Generally, when foraging, it’s bad form to take more than a third of any plant.
  • Pick leaves which grow slightly back from the path. This is more for your own good in case the area is also visited by walkers with dogs!

How to use wild garlic

You can use leaves and flowers raw in salads or sandwiches to add decoration and a punchy garlic flavour. You can also add it to butter or (dried) to salt as a means of flavouring. It makes a great pizza topping, or added into risottos, soups and onion bhajis.

However, the quintessential recipe for using wild garlic has got to be pesto. Wild garlic pesto is simple, easy to make and bursting with fresh spring-time flavours. If you’re lucky enough to discover a patch of wild garlic, whip up this delicious pesto recipe in your PowerFuel blender.

Wild Garlic Pesto Using the Wilfa Powerfuel Blender

Ingredients

  • 150g wild garlic leaves
  • 75g grated parmesan
  • 75g pine nuts or hazelnuts
  • 150ml good quality olive or rapeseed oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & pepper to season

Method

  • Rinse your wild garlic leaves thoroughly and add them to the Powerfuel blender. Give the leaves a quick pulse to break them up a little.
  • Next toast your nuts lightly on the hob. This step is optional but gives a deeper, nutty flavour to the end result. Leave to cool slightly before adding them to the blender.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and blend to a rough paste with your PowerFuel. Taste your pesto and season with more lemon juice or salt and pepper if needed.
  • Transfer from the blender jug into a clean jar and add a little covering of oil over the surface of the pesto. This recipe will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, or can be frozen (though best not in a glass container).

Enjoy your wild garlic pesto stirred through pasta or vegetables, in a toasted sandwich or as a fresh, zingy base for a marinade.

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