April 24, 2022 3 min read
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:
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.
Enjoy your wild garlic pesto stirred through pasta or vegetables, in a toasted sandwich or as a fresh, zingy base for a marinade.