Wild Garlic

Spring is when foraging really comes into its own – and one of the best places to start is with Wild Garlic.

In Exmoor down shady lanes there have been banks and banks of wild garlic and depending on where you are in Britain you can still harvest it now.

Competitive pesto!

In our household we have come to the solution to spend our time doing what we like to do best - so I plant, forage and bake, while my husband cooks, which he loves with a passion – so where does that leave us when it comes to making pesto from foraged plants? – in competition that’s where.

So we just had to make 2 different pestos – and here’s the 2 recipes and the verdict.

We also have very different approaches to making anything – his is to seek out a good recipe, mine is to experiment or adapt existing recipes, needless to say his method often gets better results, but occasionally I triumph.

                                  wild garlic pesto


Pesto 1 – Wild Garlic and Walnut

This is based on a recipe Charlie found, and slightly altered due to the masses of wild garlic we picked; and we have reduced the salt and the olive oil as it was too liquidy.

Pesto 2 – Wild Garlic and Pinenuts

This started off by asking my mother-in-law how she makes normal pesto – which is delicious – and then letting the Wild Garlic speak for itself. I’ve based the quantities on Charlie’s recipe so you can see what you need.


Ingredients: - for both pestos

300 grams (roughly 3 big handfuls) wild garlic

300mls Olive oil

100 grams grated parmeasan

100 grams pine nuts OR walnuts

1 teaspoon salt

Black pepper

4 cloves of garlic – Chalies recipe – not mine!



This is the same for both recipes.

Wash the leaves – ours were picked from the side of a muddy track so they were mud splattered.

Put the leaves in the liquidizer – they fill it.

Add the olive oil , the grated parmesan, salt & the nuts.

Add the garlic cloves – only in Charlie’s recipe!

Add a few good twists of black pepper.

wild garlic         wild garlic


Start blitzing  - it takes a little while for it all to start chopping up and getting mixed.

As it reduces in the liquidizer we added more leaves because we had them – it is up to you, and the recipe charlie was following had too much olive oil in (we've reduced it on our Ingredients list)


Can be stored in a jar – just pour a table spoon of olive oil over the top of the pesto to ‘seal it’.

A couple of spoons are delicious stirred over hot pasta; or as a side garnish with Spring Lamb and new potatoes.

              wild garlic pesto pasta


Basically the extra garlic cloves Charlie added are not really needed, the wild garlic is garlicky enough without them, though they do add a ‘hotness’ if that is what you like. The walnuts v the pinenuts is just a matter of personal taste and is up to you, or almonds would work well too if you had them.

It was a close call between the pestos, but we think we would make it again ... MY way.

A small triumph!


By the way - Soup - The leaves make a great simple and very tasty soup - more on this soon.