Sunday, 19 June 2011

Foraged Wild Garlic Pesto

Foraged Wild Garlic Pesto
Recipe by Sarah Wasserman

Last time I went up to visit family in North Yorkshire, I went foraging for some wild garlic. I think its a little late in the season now but if you do see it pick some because its a great seasonal wild herb with broad leaves and pretty little white flowers. You don't have to be out in the country either, we have picked it in Hampstead Heath. The best place to look are in shady areas, often the sides of paths or road sides. If you do find it, don't pick it all just take some leaves from several plants so that you don't kill the plant. 
The leaves have a mild-ish garlic and spring onion taste which can be stirred into pasta, made into garlic butter, added to a quiche filling and is lovely for sauces. I used it for a pesto in order to retain the wonderful green colour. 

3 Big handfuls of wild garlic leaves (thoroughly washed)
150g Parmesan or similar vegetarian Italian hard cheese diced in small chunks or thickly grated
100g Lightly Toasted Pine Nuts
Sea salt and black pepper
Approximately 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice

1) Blend all the garlic leaves thoroughly in a blender with a big pinch of sea salt and black pepper. 


2) Add the parmesan and the pine nuts. Add a small squeeze of lemon juice. 
3) Start to slowly pour in the oil until you reach the desired consistency. I like it when it still has some chunky bits.

4) Adjust seasoning if necessary. 

Use as with any other pesto, for example as a sauce for pasta or gnocchi perhaps. If you wish to keep it, put in a sterilized jar, smooth the top and cover with olive oil. It will keep for several weeks or alternatively you can freeze it.

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