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Wild Garlic Pesto

A simple pesto that can be eaten on crackers or crusty bread, or combined with cream to make a decadent wild garlic pasta sauce

Wild Garlic likes to grow in damp dappled shade. It is a forager's favourite
Wild Garlic likes to grow in damp dappled shade. It is a forager's favourite

All of the aerial part of the versatile wild garlic plant can be eaten, but this pesto makes use of the leaves. That means it is one of the first recipes that can be used when this wonderful and abundant plant appears

Recipe ingredients - makes 75ml

10 - 15 large wild garlic leaves

4tbs Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast

1.5tbs Pine nuts

2tbs Olive oil

Squeeze of lemon juice or pinch of citric acid (can replace this with 15 wood sorrel leaves)

Good grind of salt and pepper

For pasta sauce: Cream or dairy alternative


  1. Clean and pick through wild garlic

  2. Put the Parmesan/nutritional yeast, pine nuts, lemon juice/citric acid/wood sorrel, salt, pepper and oil into a small blender and blitz or pulse to your preference on coarseness/smoothness

  3. Tear the garlic, adding and blitzing in stages

  4. Sample the pesto and add more seasoning as required

  5. For pasta sauce, add pesto to drained warm pasta and stir. Add cream/dairy alternative to taste

Using oil to make pesto from wild garlic means that care should be taken to avoid botulism - caused by a bacteria that lives in soil/on plant matter and reproduces in the anaerobic conditions oil allows. The risk is small, but real, so ensure you use your pesto within maximum 48 hours (preferably 24 hours)

Discover more wild edibles and recipes on a foraging course and read more about wild garlic here.

Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!


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