Recipe: pasta with homemade wild garlic pesto and basil

The wild garlic season is in full flow at the moment.  Known for it’s blood pressure and cholesterol reducing properties this is a wonderful, free and delicious delicate ingredient that you can use in so many different ways in the kitchen.


You can find wild garlic in damp areas, particularly hedgerows and in the woods. You can smell the heady aroma as you approach a good crop of wild garlic!  Don’t dig up the bulbs unless you have the land owner’s permission… just pick a few handfuls of leaves and flowers being careful not to bruise the leaves too much.  

Once you have your crop, here is a fantastic, easy, wild garlic recipe for wild garlic pesto pasta

Ingredients (this should make a jar’s worth)

  • 100g wild garlic (you can eat the flower, stem and leaves)
  • 50g grated parmesan
  • 25g pine nuts 
  • 25g cashew nuts 
  • Approx. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon juice 
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Thoroughly wash your wild garlic and pat dry in a clean tea towel..

Dry fry the nuts (try different combinations of nuts if you are feeling adventurous) until they take on a little colour.

Put the wild garlic in a food processor with the parmesan, nuts, salt, pepper and lemon juice and blitz until broken up.  Slowly add olive oil until it looks smooth and glossy.  

Cook your pasta in salted water, drain and then spoon some of your wild garlic pesto through. Use approx. a tablespoon of pesto per person, but maybe try less and add more to taste. Add a little fresh parmesan on top and another grind of black pepper if you wish. You can add sundried tomatoes or crispy bacon or black olives… whatever takes your fancy!

You can also use your pesto to swirl on top of soups, in salads, in dressings, with fish or chicken; and it freezes well too.  If you are keeping it in a jar in the fridge, ensure it’s covered with olive oil to preserve it. It should last a week like this.