Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild garlic

Have you tried wild garlic? It smells a bit rank to be honest but it is really lovely to eat.

The flavour is actually quite mild & doesn’t stand up to much cooking. Also it is free – this is austerity Britain everyone should be picking it. Even for those who never go foraging wild garlic is easy to find & identify, just follow your nose (it’s nickname is stinkplant). It grows in woodland, lots of parks have it (even in large cities) and near my house it can be found a few feet from the road.
Wild garlicWild garlic is just perfectly in season at the moment. The leaves are still tender & it is just starting to flower. I have tried a number of lovely recipes in the last week but this pesto is easily my favourite.

RamsonsWild garlicWild garlicI first made it last year & my sister, Kate has not stopped talking about it since then. We had it swirled into soup but she really enjoyed it on pizza. You can use it in the same way you would use regular pesto. Eaten cold it is pretty pungent ( I love it on sandwiches) but mellows with warmth, such as on pasta.

I found a bunch of recipes online for wild garlic pesto but I like this one best with hazelnuts instead of pine nuts. I have made it a few times now & find I always need more olive oil than most recipes state. Anyway I thought I would share it in the hope that it will inspire people to make use of a delicious, healthy & free resource.

Wild garlic

In the woods near our house it lines the pathways

You can use wild garlic like a herb in cooking. Both the leaves & the flowers taste delicious. Use it like you would use fresh basil or chives, as a garnish or added at the very end of the cooking process. It is best raw or slightly warmed. I added some to some crushed new potatoes & buttered leeks the other day – super yum! It is also great with eggs, in salads, mashed potatoes and I reckon it would make a great dip with some yoghurt (I am planning to try that later).

Wild garlic pesto

Lemon chicken & wild garlic salad

Wild Garlic Pesto


100g wild garlic leaves
75g Crushed roasted hazelnuts
40-50g Parmesan
1/2-1 tsp Salt
150ml Olive oil

Wild garlic pestoWild garlic

1. Make sure the garlic leaves are clean & put them in a blender. Add three quarters of the olive oil, hazelnuts, salt & cheese. Blitz everything really well.

2. Now taste the pesto & add the rest of the ingredients as required. You may find you need more cheese as I had a particularly pungent Parmesan. Basically adjust the taste to suit you.Wild garlic pesto
3. Store in a glass jar & pour a little olive oil over the surface of the pesto to stop oxidisation.

It should keep for a while as the oil preserves the garlic leaves. Enjoy with pasta & pizzas, in sandwiches, with potatoes & drizzled into soup.
Wild garlic pesto

Wild garlic pesto

Chicken sandwich with wild garlic pesto

wild garlic pesto

Perfect pizza topping

by Sally

5 responses to “Wild Garlic Pesto

  1. Our wild garlic (ramps, we call them here) season is almost over. There’s a hill not far from here just covered in it and I’m hoping for one more foraging session tomorrow before it’s too late. Your pesto looks wonderful.

    • Thankyou. I hope you get a chance to pick some of the lovely herb. It is so tasty. I am just about to have some in an omelette for breakfast.

      Please let us know what you think of the recipe if you get a chance to try it.
      Happy foraging

  2. Just got the last jar out of the back of the fridge, had quite a few mostly with pasta but this time about half of it is about to go in a batch of hommus to go with some falafel and halloumi wraps.

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