I’m a huge pesto pasta fan, homemade that is. It’s tasty, easy to make and only uses one pan, which means I’ve cobbled together a bunch of variations on the theme. And this month, with the ransoms in full bloom it had to be a wild garlic recipe.
Wild garlic comes into season roughly between April and June and it’s good to catch it earlier in its season when it’s still nice and young and tender. The flowers are lovely additions to salads, whilst the leaves are great served raw, steamed in the same way as spinach or whizzed up into a delicious pesto sauce which can be used on pasta, fish or meat.
Unlike traditional garlic you buy from the supermarket, which comes in good sized bulbs, wild garlic has tiny bulbs which are fiddly to harvest. Plus, the plant naturally splits and spreads via the bulbs so if you pull them all up you risk a no show the following year.
As with any wild harvesting, try to pick your bounty away from road fumes, and give it a good wash when you get home.
Two big handfuls of well washed wild garlic leaves
Pecorino cheese – finely grated
Juice of half a lemon
Half a handful of pine nuts
Olive oil – I find this pesto recipe needs more oil than the traditional variety, so be generous and season well.
Put all the ingredients into a food processor and give it a quick whizz – it’s nice to leave a bit of chunky texture. Voila! If you’re serving with pasta, jazz it up by throwing in some chopped cooked bacon and green beans.