We recently went on a nature walk in the woods and I discovered a huge treasure trove of wild garlic. It’s a milder version of the garlic bulbs we all use, you use the leaf part. It’s pretty easy to spot, or rather smell – it grows in large quantities and your nose tells you you’ve got the the right plant! Split a leaf and give it a sniff, there’s no mistaking the aroma! Last year my friend made me some gorgeous pesto using it, so when I found this crop I gathered some up to give it a try myself. I also decided to make garlic butter for garlic bread, a solid favourite in our house, so I’m sharing these two recipes with you – the green colour you get is amazing!
Wild Garlic Pesto
Wild Garlic Leaves (or basil and any other herbs you like if you can’t get any)
Olive Oil/ Rape Seed Oil
Pine Nuts or Uncooked unsalted peanuts (optional)
Salt and Pepper
- Wash the wild garlic leaves and remove any large stalks and roots. Dry in a salad spinner or with a tea towel.
- Place the leaves in a food processor, 3/4 full.
- Pour in 50ml Olive oil to start and blitz for a minute to chop the leaves.
- If the mix looks like a paste, add more oil until it’s a bit looser.
- Add 50g nuts of your choice, if using, add more or less depending on the amount of leaves you have, you just need a few for crunch. Blitz again to chop the nuts and mix together.
- Season to taste.
- Store in jars and use for pasta, as a salad topping, mix it in dips, on your veggies, or as a soup garnish. If you have more than you need, share with friends!
Wild Garlic Green Garlic Bread
Wild Garlic (or garlic bulbs if you can’t get any, but it won’t be green :()
Part baked baguette, bruschetta or ciabatta
- Blitz together the wild garlic leaves in the food processor (no more than 3/4 full) with enough butter to form a paste, roughly 100g.
- Cut the baguette into thick slices, but not all the way through.
- Spread the green butter in the slices using a palette knife.
- Bake as instructed and remove when golden brown.
It was super yummy with my pasta and pesto, just watch out for the green bits in your teeth, it’s definitely a married couples or family food treat, maybe not a first date recipe!
Why don’t you see if you can find any wild garlic growing locally and have a go at these recipes? You can always substitute the wild garlic. Pasta and pesto is now my new favourite quick and easy lunch, plus I can put it in a pot for lunch on the go.