Wild Garlic Pesto
Yield: 1 jam jar
50g fine grated parmesan
50g pine nuts
200ml olive oil
Squeeze lemon juice
Salt to taste
Notes on ingredients
Leaves – pick the bright young green ones – I suggest going slightly off the track and picking from a variety of places, do wash carefully.
Parmesan – as with all the other ingredients try to use good quality.
Pine nuts – can happily be substituted for walnuts or hazelnuts
Olive oil – this really is a matter of taste but again, buy the best you can or use your favourite.
Salt – I use Maldon and think that any sea salt works really well here.
Lemon – this helps the pesto stay green and fresh.
There is excellent advice available on all things wild garlic and how to forage over on the Countryfile website.
Fill the sink with fresh cold water and a dash of salt. Immerse the leaves and wash them and then put them into a colander and shake them dry. I put a clean tea towel over the top and shake them vigorously followed by gentle pat dry of the leaves.
Then using a food processor place the leaves in first and give a quick whizz for about 30 seconds, scrape down the sides add in the parmesan and nuts and whizz for a further 30 seconds.
Again scrape down the sides and then add in half the olive oil and lemon juice, whizz again until a desired consistency is achieved. I like mine a little coarse. Then add in the rest of the olive oil and salt until the consistency and taste you prefer is achieved. Remember it will thicken in the fridge when chilled.
Now you can use the pesto sauce when and how you would like. We had it on fresh pappardelle the first night. It also makes a great addition to a grilled cheddar sandwich or a topping on an omelette. The wild garlic pesto will keep refrigerated for at least a week. If you want to go upmarket then mix a spoon of it with breadcrumbs and top off your salmon steak. It is also great through crushed new potatoes. My youngest daughters’ eternal favourite is chicken with wild garlic pesto pasta. I use spiral pasta with leftover and skinless roast chicken.
All in all, a satisfying and endlessly rewarding walk, the kids will enjoy this too.