Wild Garlic and Lemon Pesto

This week I’ve been playing with my new discovery, wild garlic. My findings are as follows:

  • Once picked it very quickly wilts unless kept in a glass of water.
  • One shouldn’t eat the leaves after the plant has flowered.
  • The flowers, however, can be eaten but are stronger than the leaves.  They could be used to scent dishes rather than actually eaten.
  • The leaves go slimy and grey if sautéd
  • Though it tastes very mild, wild garlic gives the eater wicked, wicked wicked garlic breath.

 My plans to make Pille’s wild garlic pesto were scuppered when I realised I was without pinenuts.  Not one to be deterred, I hunted through my cupboards and made do with what I could find.  The resulting pesto was grassy, garlicky and great.  😉



Wild Garlic and Lemon Pesto

50g wild garlic leaves

30g nuts (I used cashew nuts but walnuts and almonds wpuld work well too)

50ml olive oil

30g parmesan, grated finely

1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper

  • Whizz the wild garlic and nuts until a coarse paste is formed.  Add the olive oil and whizz for a few more seconds.
  • Stir through the parmesan and lemon juice.  Season carefully.

We ate this stirred through wholemeal pasta and topped with rocket and torn prosciutto.


24 thoughts on “Wild Garlic and Lemon Pesto

  1. Yum! I can almost smell it from here 🙂

    I must admit that I think I’ve found some wild garlic before now but then wussed out because I wasn’t sure it if definitely was garlic!

  2. Wow, looks delicious! Sometimes it is good to be forced to get creative in the kitchen, like your pine nut situation! Fun when it turns out marvelous like yours. And oh that pasta dish…ummmmm:)

  3. I am so jealous of your wild pickings!


    Does it taste garlicky? Is that a stupid question? The photo of your hidden wild garlic paradise made me ache for your beautiful northern weather.

    Better than a wood of bluebells, I reckon.

  4. Truenorth67 – I am too. 🙂

    Nicisme – Thank you!

    Sophie – Picked and smelled there can be no mistaking wild garlic for anything else. Seriously. 🙂

    Deb – It was very good, must say.

    Lucy – It tastes like soft garlicky grass. Yes, garlicky grass.

    Susan – I love the colour too. Was very pleased my camera caught it so well.

    Johanna – Hope you are!

    Silvia – Thank you! The saltiness of the ham was great with the pesto. 🙂

    Pille – Have fun! Wonder what you’ll make with it this time…

    Julia – Isn’t it glorious? It’s difficult not to BBQ every night just now!

  5. You have inspired me – I have just whizzed up some pesto myself to pop atop a piece of trout. No wild garlic sadly, but picked herbs and rocket from my newly planted pots instead.
    That proscuitto looks particularly delicious, may I say.

  6. Patricia – It’s waiting for you! 😉

    Antonia – The pesto I made tasted a lot like rocket pesto, actually. Just with a garlicky after taste.

  7. Wild garlic, I’ve heard of it but we’d never get it in these parts 😦 Pesto looks so creamy and begs for a nice big bowl of pasta. 🙂

  8. Cynthia – Couldn’t agree more. 🙂

    Lucy – Good luck. I’ve never ever seen it sold here before. But then I’ve never lived in a big city… Who knows. Maybe!

  9. I can’t tell you how much I’m missing my kitchen at the moment! This is exactly the kind of food I’m absolutely desperate to cook. All these seasonal treats – wild garlic, nettles, asparagus, broad beans, etc – are passing me by, and we’re still 2 weeks away from the work all being finished…. Can I come and stay?? 😉

  10. Oh, it looks divine and it has held it’s colour so well! I like cashews in pesto too! So how long did it last? Not too long, I am thinking 🙂

  11. David – “Ramsons”? I’ve never heard them called this before. Though I have only discovered them this year.

    Kittie – Thank you! 🙂

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