Whilst out walking our dogs along the beautiful River Bovey the other morning, we were welcomed with lots of wild garlic ripe for the picking. As it’s lockdown and many of us are looking for new ideas to try out in the kitchen, we felt enthused to share a recipe which we make every spring which not only tastes delicious, but makes use of an abundant food that would otherwise go to waste. Picking wild garlic is a great way to get kids outside and interested in nature and food on their daily walk outside.
Foraging For Wild Garlic
Wild garlic can be found blanketing the banks of rivers and the edges of country lanes from March-April in the UK. Look for smooth broad green leaves and a white flower head with lots of individual dainty flowers. The flower has a tall and thin green stem. As with any kind of foraging for wild foods, to identify the plant as wild garlic, it’s best to use all your senses. You’ll know it’s wild garlic because you’ll smell it right away.
Wild Garlic Pesto
Wild garlic pesto is a great way of using up this spring foray. You can make a big batch and freeze it into smaller portions to enjoy at a later date. Wild garlic pesto is delicious stirred through pasta, added to soup, brightening up quiches or spreading on pizza.
Wild garlic leaves
Nuts – hazelnuts, pine nuts or cashew nuts work well
Hard cheese – a Parmesan or cheddar (we used Quicke’s Goat’s Cheese)
Olive oil or rapeseed oil
Salt & pepper
- Wash the leaves and flowers thoroughly and leave to drain
- Blitz in a food processor until broken up and place to one side in a large mixing bowl
- In the food processor, blend nuts until small
- Add the nuts to the mixing bowl and mix together well
- Add a squeeze of lemon juice (we only had limes)
- Add a good glug of olive oil until you reach your desired consistency and mix further
- Add grated cheese and mix
- Season to taste with salt and pepper
We used the wild garlic pesto to make Wild Garlic Pesto & Chicken Pasta. To make it follow the following steps;
- Cook the pasta
- Cut the chicken into strips and cook in a pan until white all over
- Add the wild garlic pesto to the pan and stir through to cover the chicken
- Add the cooked pasta to the pan and stir thoroughly until it is evenly coated
- Serve and enjoy!