Now that any plans you had on your calendar have likely been abolished, you might be ticking off some of those long overdue odd jobs around the house, arranging video calls (with wine!) with friends? Undoubtedly, a trip to the park will be on the cards for most people. If so, consider bringing a bag or basket with you and go on the hunt for some wild garlic.
Admittedly I have only become acquainted with wild garlic in the last few years. I had heard of it and I definitely had smelt it out on my walks, but I couldn’t actually identify it. I had imagined wild garlic to be akin to the regular garlic bulbs we are accustomed to. Not the case. You are looking for bright green leaves and as pictured below it will likely carpet the ground, and a sure tell sign will be the pungent aroma of garlic. In your pursuit, your best bet would be to start in a woodland area or along hedgerows. In early March the garlic has not yet flowered and the leaves are most flavourful and tender at this time, so no time like the present to go foraging. Wild garlic is available through to May and the flowers do make a pretty addition to a salad.
For this wild garlic pesto (which will yield about a jam jar) you will need 100grams of leaves, which equates to about five big handfuls. Gather as much as you can as the leaves can be frozen and used at a later stage.
- 100g of leaves
- 60g parmesan
- 50g pine nuts
- 160ml of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- squeeze of lemon (optional)
- Wash the garlic leaves well and pat dry with a towel.
- Add the leaves, parmesan and pine nuts to a food processor and as its whizzing, slowly add the oil until you reach your desired consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice if using.
- Pour into a sterilised jar and seal with a thin layer of oil and refrigerate. It will last at least a couple of weeks like this.
Enjoy the pesto through pasta, soups, on some grilled fish or meat or in a potato salad, spread on toast , lather under the skin of a chicken and roast. This pesto is an immunity booster with attitude. Thanks Mother Nature!
I hope you enjoy it and let me know how you get on! x