and almond pesto

Just before Easter I set out on a country walk with friends to find wild garlic. I knew it was growing out there somewhere and if I foraged hard enough I’d find my treasure trove of ramsons. After a few false starts (lily of the valley is determined to look like wild garlic, get picked and then poison all my dinner guests), we finally stumbled on a garlicky glade that rippled and reeked as far as the eye could see.

I stuffed my handbag full – it’s never quite lost of the whiff of woodland alliums – and brought my haul home, glowing with forager’s pride. I turned it into wild garlic pesto, based on the recipe I learnt at Ballymaloe, and congratulated myself on being very of the moment.

The following weekend I went home to my parents and was greeted by my dad, who said: “I’ve got something in the garden that’ll interest you.” I followed him out into the sunlight ready to admire his herbaceous borders, only to find them packed full of wild garlic. My parents had leapt past and evolved straight into agriculture. Very forward thinking of them.

So I harvested more of the damn stuff and made more wild garlic pesto, because it’s nice.

Wild garlic and almond pesto
Makes 725–750g

75g whole blanched almonds
150g wild garlic, washed and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
400ml extra virgin olive oil
125g Parmesan, grated

Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add the almonds. Dry fry, shaking the pan frequently, until golden and toasted. Tip into a food processor and blitz to a fine mix.

Add the wild garlic and garlic and blitz, pouring in the olive oil until you have a loose, green pesto. Stir in the Parmesan. Taste and season.

Spoon into sterilised jars, cover the top with a layer of olive oil and store in the fridge. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 6 months – leaving out the Parmesan before freezing and stirring some in when you reheat probably gives the best flavour results. Freeze small amounts in ice cube trays then transfer to a freezer bag. Reheat from frozen.

Tagged with: BallymaloeBritishForagingWild Garlic

0 Responses to Wild garlic and almond pesto

  1. Rachel K says:

    Inspired! Frankly every day could be a form of pesto day!

  2. ruth_dt says:

    How long does it keep in the sterilised jars in the fridge?

  3. Ben says:

    Sounds delicious. I was going to ask the same question as Ruth ie how long does it keep. I always find that pesto looks fine one day and then you go back 2 days later and a white mold has grown all over it.

  4. ginandcrumpets says:

    @rachel K Pesto for every season, a season for every pesto.

    @ruth_dt and @Ben Covering the top of the pesto with olive oil and sealing it tightly so oxygen can’t get at it will help prolong its life. Every time you use it, make sure a film of olive oil goes back over the top. I have a jar in my fridge that has been open for two weeks and is doing fine under that method.

    I would say that it will probably keep sealed in the fridge for a couple of months, but I’m a wild risk taker. When you open it up, if it’s bubbly and/or smells fermented, then it’s gone and has to be chucked. Freezing small portions of it is safer if you want to guarantee longevity.

  5. Lizzie says:

    Was it in nunhead you found it? I was contemplating going for a forage myself but then wondered what the ethics would be if I’d found some in the cemetery…

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      No, it was in a wood near Godalming, which is a bit far to go. Or my parent’s garden, which is even further. I haven’t seen any in the cemetery but I don’t think I’ve walked every inch of it. I’ve seen some on a roadside park in Waterloo, but I suspect the quantity of traffic that roars past it every day has rendered it cancerous.

  6. I can smell the scent of wild garlic as I read your post. I can’t wait to be in the UK for some walking in the woods. Good recipe of what to do with it.

  7. That sounds absolutely gorgeous and the pick looks like you want to reach out with your fork and eat it! I’m definitely going to be trying that recipe. Only just discovered your blog and now I’m going to be having a good old read tonight x

  8. I’ve never tried wild garlic and am so desparate to after reading so many blog posts about it over the last few weeks. This recipe looks delicious – I might hav to venture out and find some myself. Where do you reckon the closest place to London (without being poisoned by traffic fumes) would be?

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