And it’s a great way to show off some of the incredible wild bounty I found in Skipton, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales in spring. There’s a wood there that is completely and utterly covered with wild garlic – or ramsons as it is called in the UK. A thick, vibrant looking carpet of this delicious herb, as far as the eye could see.
There are so many wonderful possibilities for this intense, herbaceous wild green. Pesto is a great way to store wild garlic for the months ahead, when it vanishes from the wood again for another year. The recipe can be multiplied endlessly and frozen in ice cube trays for you to quickly defrost at will.
Extremely easy to throw together if you have a food processor – just handfuls of nuts and parsley, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil to enhance the wild garlic leaves and stems. You can add a little grated cheese as well if you like, but I tried it without and it was still absolutely delicious – something I have not always found to be true with basil pesto.
A gorgeous, aromatic plant that matches the caramelised Tenderstem beautifully. Fresh, oniony and zingy… And free.
Wild garlic pesto
- handful raw almonds
- 80 g wild garlic/ramsons/ramps
- big handful parsley
- half a lemon juice only
- 60-70 g extra-virgin olive oil to taste
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 20 g cheese like pecorino or Parmesan finely grated (optional)
- Pulse the nuts in a food processor. Add the wild garlic, parsley and lemon juice and blend to break down. Run the machine, drizzling in the olive oil to make a smooth paste, scraping down as necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cheese (if using).