I went home the other weekend to Preston and whilst out walking the dog we came upon seas of wild garlic covering the floors of 'Joshuas Wood'. You never really see wild garlic as a tiny crop but instead it grows like a weed, literally covering the floor, usually on banks or near to a stream. It grows in damp conditions and you’ll usually find that you smell it before you see it! As the dog happily ran herself mental with all the woodland smells we got to work picking a hearty crop of wild garlic, or ramsons as some people call it. However much you decide to pick doesn’t really dent the amount that grows so you don’t need to feel guilty about picking a ridiculous amount, which we did, obviously.
Firstly we ate it like spinach, simply washed and then wilted with a bit of olive oil and lemon juice but I had bigger plans for the leaf. Delicious as it was I wanted to try wild garlic pesto which sounded great and thought it’d go great with some braised lamb and butter beans. Man was I right! Here’s the recipe for the pesto. If you see wild garlic please try this recipe as you’ll be massively rewarded. This recipe is massively influenced by River Cottage's Recipe so credit goes to them!
WILD GARLIC PESTO
- 50g Wild Garlic leaves
- 30g Pine nuts (briefly toasted)
- 30g Parmesan, freshly grated
- 80ml Olive Oil
- Sea salt and Fresh Black Pepper
- Finely chop the Wild Garlic leaves
- Grind the leaves with the pine nuts and parmesan in a pestle and mortar
- Add olive oil to make a paste at the end, if storing make sure the pesto is covered with oil to preserve
*If you keep the pesto covered in the fridge it should last several weeks in the fridge