Saturday, 10 April 2010

Wild Garlic Pesto

Winter has been a lean period for foraging - but one that has seen us enjoying the fruits of our labours.  For months now we have been eating homemade jams, apple chutney, hedgerow jelly, spiced damson sauce and chili jelly, to name but a few.  It's been great, but I've been keen to get out and find more wild food.
Last week I struck lucky.  We were returning from a walk and within 5 minutes' of home I suddenly smelt the unmistakable scent of wild garlic.  I first used this last year, and realised that the season is all-too-brief - the leaves quickly turn yellow, so need to be grabbed when fresh and green.  I raced home to get a bag, then came straight back out to gather some leaves.

Last year I had eaten them as part of a salad, and also stirred them through cooked pasta along with some homemade walnut pesto, but I wanted to try and make them a bit more of a feature in their own right this time.

I decided to turn them into a pesto.  Loosely following a recipe that I found in one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's books, I blended the garlic leaves - 2 large handfuls - with about 50g of toasted pine-nuts and about the same amount of grated Parmesan.  I drizzled in EVOO to bring it all together, before seasoning with salt and pepper.

OK, it might look a little like alien-goo, but the garlicky smell wafting up from it was wonderful.  We ate it stirred through cooked pasta and topped with crispy bacon and shaved Parmesan.  Delicious.

I'm currently away on holiday (in Shropshire - about which more in another post) but I'm really hoping that that patch of wild garlic is still there when we return.  I'd like to forage further!


Anonymous said...

that sounds absolute heaven - clever you!

JaneR xxx

nic @ nipitinthebud said...

I'll have to get my foragers nose on and sniff some out. Where oh where to start though? Fingers crossed I'll find some as this sounds divine :o)