Over the weekend the sun came out here again, and so I made a dash up to the woods to gather some Wild Garlic again. This wonderful spring green is near the end of the Season, so I am looking for ways to preserve it so we have it and all it’s wonderful goodness all year round.
Wild Garlic & Parsley Pesto
- 40g wild garlic leaves – nice and fresh and picked straight from the Jervis Lum… the woods in ‘Our back garden’. I also added the flowers too, gives it a slightly stronger taste
- large handful parsley leaves – these were straight from the garden so very fresh, and a great idea if your Parsley is starting to bolt as mine is!
- 30g pine nuts, toasted
- 10 tbsp Virgin olive oil* – or as much as you feel it needs – I prefer to use a good quality Virgin Olive Oil if I can afford it, as it has such a wonderful taste.
- 30g parmesan cheese, grated – I added a little more!
- sea salt – freshly ground to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- You can also add a couple of closes of garlic if you feel you want a bigger garlic ‘bang’
Now here comes the very easy bit!
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan – keep your eye on it – make sure it doesn’t catch
- In a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients except the cheese, until the mixture is a coarse paste.
- If you don’t have a food blender you can do all this in a pestle and mortar it takes more time, but is just as good
- Add the cheese and blitz for a few more seconds.
- At this point you can decide how smooth you want it. If you want a smoother pesto add a few drops more of Virgin olive oil and blitz again.
- Keep in the fridge in a sealed container or jar for up to a week or so.
- If you are going to put it in a jar, as I have above, then you need to make sure you have sterilised the jar, just as you do in jam making.
This pesto is wonderful colour and very pungent, its is really versatile too.
You can use it with pasta or vegetables. it’s great swirled on top of soups .
You can uses on bruschetta or to stuff chicken or fish.
Pesto can be made from many different herbs and this gives you a great base to play around with. You can vary the the quantity and the herbs depending on what you have available, for example you can uses rosemary( make sure you pull the ‘leaves’ of the twiggy stick though!) if you want something to go with lamb.
You can also free it by just blitzing the herbs and the olive oil together , then when required just defrost it and add the parmesan cheese and the toasted pine nuts, and blitz again. Add more olive oil if necessary . This is great to use up the last of the wild garlic and so you have some for later in the year.
*You can also experiment with oils as well.. I know that Virgin Rape Seed Oil also works well.. and that is a very British Oil which is just as good for you as Olive Oil.