Thinking spring in the woods near here, everyone talks about bluebells. And yes, bluebells are nice. But what I think of is that it is wild garlic season. This plant (also known as ransomes) is found in woods, hedgerows and parks everywhere. So what better way to use this abundant and wonderful spring leaves than in a simply moorish wild garlic pesto? You get the greens and the garlic in one.
Check the Royal Horticultural Society for a guide on how to recognise wild garlic all around you or simply get some from a farmers market near you. As I said in my wild garlic and chickpea curry post I am still chuffed about how well the patch of wild garlic that I planted is doing. It pretty much means wild garlic for the next few lunches and suppers. Friends, you have been warned.
Homemade pesto sauce is very easy to make and is essentially a paste of greens, parmesan, garlic and nuts with some olive oil. If you don’t have any wild garlic you can easily just substitute in other greens like basil, rocket but you would have to add in some garlic. I tend to use cashews in this as they are a pantry staple but you can sub in any nuts you like. Roasting the nuts definitely make a difference to the flavour of the pesto so try not to miss this step.
Pesto is good served on pasta, slathered on tomatoes or grilled vegetable sandwiches or on a homemade pizza. Frankly, I just eat spoonfuls of pesto straight out of the jar because I can. I keep it for up to a week in the fridge.
So try this easy homemade pesto recipe and don’t forget to leave me a comment below to tell me what variations you have in yours.
- 100g (3½ oz) wild garlic
- 100g (3½ oz) Parmesan cubes
- 100g (3½oz) roasted cashew nuts.
- Ground black pepper
- 100ml ( ½ cup) rapeseed oil (I used Hillfarms Oils)
- Heat a frying pan and add in the cashew nuts and dry roast them stirring frequently till they are golden and then transfer to a cool container immediately (or they will keep cooking on the hot frying pan).
- Put wild garlic, parmesan, cashew nuts, salt and pepper into a food processor and whizz into a paste.
- If you like your pesto chunky then whizz for a shorter time than you would if you want it smoother.
- Transfer paste into a container and slowly drizzle in rapeseed (canola) oil mixing all the time till pesto is saturated. I add in about 100mls for this amount of pesto but OH happily adds in more.
- Adjust seasoning and serve.
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