Around this time every year, the riverside walks in Cumbria come alive. As Spring slowly makes its way up North we often smell it before we really see it – in the form of wild garlic.
This year I decided to make the most of it properly. I’ve had wild garlic pesto before and loved it, so I thought I’d try my own – and I’m very glad I did. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where foraging is an option (or somewhere with a good farmers’ market), make the most of it! Your taste buds will thank you for it.
– 100g wild garlic leaves
– 30g pine nuts
– 30g cashew nuts
– 75g vegetarian parmesan, grated*
– ½ lemon, juiced
– 100ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Wash the wild garlic leaves thoroughly and dry with a salad spinner or paper towels.
- In a large, dry frying pan, lightly toast the pine nuts and cashews until they’re just beginning to colour. Transfer to a food processor with the wild garlic, cheese and lemon juice; season and blitz well. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. If it’s a bit thick you can add a little more oil, or a splash of water as needed.
- Transfer to a clean jar and drizzle over some extra olive oil to help preserve it (the oil will stop as much air from getting to it, and will help it keep for longer). Keep in the fridge for up to a month.
You can eat it with anything you’d usually have pesto with (or just with a spoon). I particularly enjoy mine stirred into a bowl of pasta or gnocchi, with griddled courgette summer veg.
*Tip: to make it vegan, swap the cheese for about 4tbsp nutritional yeast, to taste