Going Wild for Pesto

By Livvy Drake

A couple of years I discovered wild garlic pesto and I am hooked!  As soon as I see the shoots coming up in late March,  I make a weekly batch exploring different combinations of nuts and seeds to compliment the fresh, pungent flavour.

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Where I currently live, we have it in the garden so it is easy to collect a bunch, but that kind of does take part of the fun of preparing this dish. One of the added pleasures of making wild garlic pesto is escaping to a wood for a walk, or finding it on a river bank and picking it in it’s natural habitat. Perhaps it is linked to our natural hunter gatherer spirit!

If you have not  discovered wild garlic or made the pesto yet then this post is for you. This recipe makes a delicious pesto, that is dairy free,  cost-effective and full of health and well-being properties… read on to find out more:

 The Recipe for the most Nurturing Wild Garlic Pesto of all

  1. Find a friend, partner or family member to join you for an hour or so
  2. Get on some wellies, walking boots and pack a reusable tote bag in your pocket
  3. Head to a woodland, river or a hedgerow
  4. Sniff the air for a light garlic smell and look out for the green leaves and later in the season white flowers
  5. Pick a bag full of leaves- make sure you leave some for other people and the plant to recover
  6. Enjoy your walk
  7. On your way home grab some optional extras: If you are dairy free include capers, and maybe lemon
  8. When you return home, give the leaves a good wash
  9. Pull out the food processor or blender
  10. Find some nuts or seeds- we recommend, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or cashews.  Why not trial some different batches with each- the fun is in putting your own spin on it.
  11. Make sure you have a good quality light oil – rapeseed is my current favourite as olive oil can often be bitter and overpowering
  12. If you are using a blender chop the leaves in advance
  13. Put in the nuts to blitz up then add in the leaves gradually and drizzle in the oil as it is spinning to mix to a smooth paste. Also add in the extras- I just include capers and occasionally lemon, other people put in Parmesan
  14. Turn blender up high to get everything into a smooth paste
  15. Put into a reused jam jar and store for up to a week
  16. Prepare a fresh salad, with fresh bread or raw vegetable pasta and serve. It works well as a replacement to basil pesto with pasta etc
  17. Sit down and enjoy the fruits of your hunting and gathering!

 Quantities

1 large bunch of wild garlic, washed
1/2 cup of seeds or nuts
2 tbsp of capers and a drop of brine
150mls  light oil (rapeseed is good)
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Salt and pepper (optional)

Interested in more inspiration like this?

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