The first signs of Spring are at last here – the countryside speckled with yellow primroses and wild daffodils; birds singing their welcome to a new season; a touch of warmth in the sunshine and an abundance of Wild Garlic growing on steep banks along shady country lanes.
This is a foragers paradise – the garlic grows so ferociously that no one can object to you gathering a few bundles and the result is a condiment that can be used in 100 different dishes throughout the year.
Wild Garlic pesto can be served with pasta dishes, salads, dressings, pan-fried fish and as a salsa or marinade for barbecued meats. We actually prefer wild garlic to it’s cultivated cousin, garlic bulbs; it is somehow fresher and more fragrant. It is also free if you take the trouble to seek it out!
A large bunch of wild garlic leaves (approx. 150g)
60g hard goats cheese, finely grated
60g hazelnuts, lightly toasted in a hot dry pan
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
200ml rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper
We find that a hard goats cheese makes the pesto light and very special but it is sometimes difficult to find.
Grated parmesan will do just as well.
Blitz the wild garlic leaves, cheese, hazelnuts, honey and vinegar in a food processor.
Then with the blade still running slowly add the oil a little at a time.
Season well with rock salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Transfer to a sterilised Kilner jar and keep in the back of the fridge.