If you take a stroll to the woodland or keep your eyes peeled in your local park you may discover some delicious wild garlic. Spring and Summer months are perfect for foraging this wild herb. It usually grows at the edge of woodlands, around damp soil.
If you have just begun your foraging adventures than this herb is a flavorful find for beginners. You will smell them before you see them and they usually hang around in big bunches.
The wild garlic flowers and leaves can be used in many recipes and salads but for today’s recipe we will focus on how to make wild garlic pesto which is perfectly paired with fresh pasta or toasted breads.
Picking and Preparation
Don’t pick from the roots, leave some for others and be sure to wash the leaves thoroughly before you use them.
- If you are out foraging for wild garlic follow these simple tips: Never pick plants from the root, always use a scissors.
- Make sure to wear gloves at all times.
- Wild garlic is most commonly found from March to July.
- Pick healthy leaves that are long and bright in colour! Try and pick the leaves from an area that’s less likely to have been crossed by animals.
- The best way to check that what you’ve picked is wild garlic is to smell it. The smell is strong.
Here is a great and simple recipe for wild garlic pesto!
How to make wild garlic pesto
100g wild garlic leaves (a big bunch or a basket full will do)
50g nettle leaves
50g parmesan cheese
50g toasted pine nuts or walnuts are a nice alternative
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Lemon juice (at least half a lemon is needed)
A pinch or salt and a pinch of pepper
Wash wild garlic leaves and nettles thoroughly. Be sure to always wear gloves when cooking with fresh nettles. They sting until they are boiled.
Place the nettle leaves in a pot of cold water, make sure the nettles are covered and allow to boil. This should only take ten minutes.
Drain the water and squeeze the leaves in a dry cloth to get rid of all excess water and juice. Place the galic leaves, nettles, parmesan, and nuts into a food processor and blitz. Slowly add two tablespoons of olive oil.
Add an extra spoon of olive oil if the mixture is too dry.
Add in your salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
Once you have your wild garlic pesto prepared you can use it with pasta, as a dip or add to sandwiches for extra flavour. You can store fresh pesto in the fridge for up to one week. If you want to keep it longer, freezing it will hold the taste for 9 months.
If you are interested in embarking on a foraging adventure or learning more about the wild foods we work with contact our team anytime. Join us on any of foraging adventures in Ireland.