Wild garlic pesto is a much eaten dish in this house in spring. Wild garlic grows wild in woodland areas. It is best harvested in April and May before the flowers are fully out, but still good after then. Easily identifiable by their strong garlic scent, the leaves are good in a variety of dishes. Try them in soups, stews, sauces, anywhere you want a garlic flavour. The flowers are also good to add to cooking or fry into fritters.
For the pesto: gather a couple of bunches of wild garlic leaves, wash, place in blender with small bag of nuts or seeds such as pinenuts, brazils, cashews, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, gradually adding enough olive oil to blend smoothly as you go. Once blended, mix into pasta. Pictured served with salad and some sesame seeds stirred in.
Variations: you can use traditional basil or other herbs instead of or as well as wild garlic adding lemon juice lessens the amount of oil needed other nice inclusions are nettles (yes really) and black pepper pesto is also nice mixed into boiled potatoes, in sandwiches, or diluted with vinegar/lemon juice and made into a salad dressing.
Food for Free is a truly wonderful book on Britain’s wild foods, detailing wild herbs, berries, greens sea vegetables and fungi.