Wild Pesto Recipe
It is spring and the wild garlics are out in full swing. At this time of year they swathe the woodlands of many northern countries in a fragrant green abundance, to the point some are even considered invasive. Make the most of them and grab 'em while you can. This wild greens pesto recipe packs them into one jar for easy and tasty consumption...
- Two big handfuls of a wild garlic(s) - Three Cornered Leeks, Ramsons or Garlic Mustard (leaves – if the flowers are out, save them for a garnish).
- A big handful of nettle leaves
- A good glug of olive oil - 50-100ml (depending on how oily you like your pesto).
- Nuts approx. 100g - a mixture of cashews and pine nuts work really well but feel free to experiment.
- Grated hard cheese -Parmesan or a hard goats cheese. This pesto can also be made vegan buy omitting the cheese and adding a pinch more salt along with some brewers yeast or vegan cheese.
- Salt and pepper.
Toast the nuts in a dry frying pan or oven for 5 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool a little.
Crush the nettles up well in a pestle and mortar or blender- this will eliminate the stings. Chop the rest of the herbs roughly and throw them in the blender along with the cheese, salt and pepper and half the nuts. Add a good glug of the oil (about half of it). Pulse until roughly blended.
Add the remaining nuts but only pulse a few more times to leave the pesto with some crunch. If the pesto looks dry, add more oil. Spoon into sterilised glass jars and cover with a layer of oil. Every time you use some of the pesto cover with another layer of oil to keep the air out. Store in the fridge and it should last a couple of weeks this way. It freezes well so you could make a huge batch to have throughout the year.
Hey pesto! Serve on pasta, crackers, cheese etc...