Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto made with foraged wild garlic leaves is a simple, affordable condiment and addition to your next meal!
Pesto is perhaps one of the easiest and most versatile dishes to make. It can be used so many different ways – from being stirred into pasta to used as a topping for beef, an appetizer for bread or crackers or even used on seafood.
Depending on what you use for pesto, it can vary greatly in flavor. From arugula to cilantro, kale and even basil… pesto is one of those appetizers that’s super easy to whip together with just a few simple ingredients. It’s almost hard to believe that anything that good can be SO stinkin’ easy.
Finding Wild Garlic
If you haven’t ever tried wild garlic pesto though, it’s out of this world. Wild garlic is available in damp woodlands and marshlands, even water drainage ditches throughout Europe. It’s commonly known as randoms and even gypsy onions.
As a relative of chives, it has a distinctive flavor of garlic. Yet it isn’t quite as heavy as garlic cloves. If you were to pick a leaf and sniff it, it would smell garlicky. If you are foraging for wild garlic, you might just smell it before you see it. it’s not hard to spot — in fact, it has glossy, green leaves. The leaves are often mistaken for lily of the valley plants (which are poisonous).
But.. a simple rub of the leaves will identify which plant you have so there really isn’t any great chance of mixing them up.
Wild Garlic Pesto
Making wild garlic pesto is as simple as dry roasting pine nuts over a low to medium heat until light brown. Then adding to the food processor with olive oil, parmesan cheese, wild garlic leaves, garlic and salt.
Process until the mixture turns to a well-combined Wild Garlic Pesto.
Add more salt – to taste of course, and serve with your next meal of meat, seafood, crackers, or toasted sourdough. You can also freeze this wild garlic pesto in small batches (think ice cube trays!) should you have more than what you can use in a reasonable time.
Can’t Find Wild Garlic?
If you cannot forage wild garlic where you are, most Chinese shops would sell Chinese garlic chives. Garlic chives are a seasonal vegetable that can be used as a replacement. It tastes similar but the hint of garlic is a lot weaker.
Wild Garlic Pesto
- 300 gr wild garlic leaves
- 180 gr olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 75 gr pine nuts
- 75 gr finely grated parmesan cheese
- salt to taste
- Roast pine nuts in a pan on low to medium heat till nuts turn brown. Do not add any oil, dry roast only. Be patient, it takes a while for all the nuts to turn brown.
- Put garlic, parmesan, olive oil, roasted pine nuts in a food processor, add wild garlic leaves in batches to process.
- Add salt to taste.
- You can find and forage wild garlic, also known as ramsons, in many public parks in Europe and America.
- You can replace wild garlic leaves with basil leaves for basil pesto.
- Wild garlic's brief season is a source of excitement in the Fine Food Specialist office. Wild garlic pesto is often used in Italian fine dining.
- You can add this directly to salad, cooked meat, or simply on top of toasted bread.
- If you cannot forage wild garlic where you are, most Chinese shops would sell Chinese garlic chives (also a seasonal vegetable) that can be used as a replacement. It tastes similar but the hint of garlic is a lot weaker.
If you loved this pesto, I would be so appreciative if you gave the recipe a review.