Wild garlic is abundant right now and it’s at its best in April and May. This recipe uses the wild garlic leaves instead of basil which is not in season at the moment. Usually found in moist, wooded shaded areas the leaves of wild garlic are relatively easy to identify by their overpowering smell of garlic. They are often referred to as Ramsons. This pesto will keep in the fridge for over 3 weeks and can be used in pasta or served on bruschetta. If you don’t have spring onions or leeks in the veg patch, you could use shallots instead.
• 100g freshly picked wild garlic leaves
• 50g spring onions or leeks
• 50g shelled walnuts
• 200 ml olive oil
• 50g mature hard cheese (e.g Parmesan or a hard goat’s cheese), finely grated
• ½ teaspoon sea salt
• ½ teaspoon sugar
Wash the garlic leaves and discard any coarse stalks. Place in food processor along with walnuts, shallot and 150 ml oil. Blend for about a minute until well chopped up. Add in the cheese, salt and sugar and stir well. Fill into clean sterilised jars to within 5cm of the top of jar. Press down firmly with the back of a spoon to remove any pockets of air and then add the remaining oil to seal the surface. When you come to use the pesto, stir it well before spooning out. Make sure the surface of any pesto remaining in the jar is completely covered with oil before you return to the fridge.