This simple and punchy wild garlic pesto recipe is quick to whip up and perfect for pepping up spring dishes! And it’s so versatile – stir it through pasta for a tasty, quick dinner, spread it on some crusty sourdough or toss it through a salad.
Wild garlic is easy to find at this time of year, and pesto is a classic way of making the most of this spring harvest.
Foraging for wild garlic is a great spring bank holiday activity. If you want to try picking some for yourself take a look at my how to find wild garlic post. There are also some great resources from The Woodland Trust, British Local Food or Wild Food UK.
how to make wild garlic pesto
This wild garlic pesto comes together in minutes and needs only 5 ingredients – wild garlic leaves, Parmesan, toasted nuts (I used walnuts), lemon and olive or rapeseed oil.
Start by grating the Parmesan and toasting the nuts. While the nuts are toasting, thoroughly wash the wild garlic leaves. Then it’s just a matter of adding everything to a food processor and blitzing it together!
I like to start with the leaves first, pulsing them until coarsely chopped. Add the toasted nuts, oil, Parmesan and the juice of half a lemon and blitz again. At this point I like to taste and refine, adding a little salt and pepper to taste. Add more lemon juice and oil if the mixture looks too thick. There’s no hard and fast rule here – experiment and adapt it to your own tastes!
Once you’ve poured your pesto into a clean jar add a slick of oil to the top to help it
recipe idea: wild garlic pesto and pasta
This is one of my favourite quick dinners. I secretly love it when I’ve made a little too much to fit in the jar because it’s a great excuse to make this for dinner!
Boil up some pasta, making sure that you keep back a little bit of the pasta water when you drain it, and then stir through a good dollop of your fresh pesto. The pasta water will help to emulsify and “sauce” the pesto, making it beautifully silky and even more delicious!
Let me know if you try it, or if you have any other ways of using your wild garlic pesto!
Simple Wild Garlic Pesto
- 100 grams wild garlic
- 50 grams Parmesan cheese
- 50 grams toasted walnuts
- 1 lemon
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash wild garlic leaves thoroughly and blot dry with a tea towel.
- Place the leaves into a food processor and blitz until they’re coarsely chopped.
- Grate the Parmesan and add to the chopped leaves, along with the juice of half a lemon, a good glug of olive oil, and the toasted walnuts. Blitz until everything is finely chopped. Taste as you go, and add more oil and/or lemon juice if the mixture looks too thick.Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the pesto to a clean jar, and cover the top with a slick of olive oil to help preserve it.