Hooray it’s Wild Garlic time again
This is the first wild spring green I felt confident about picking. I now pick a much bigger range of wild greens but this still remains my favourite. It’s easy to spot with its broad green leaves and garlicky smell and is found in shady damp spots. You mainly eat the leaves but the white star-like flowers are edible too and are nice sprinkled on a salad. You can also pickle the unopened flower buds and use like capers.
I love the leaves just roughly chopped in scrambled eggs and omelettes or baked in a quiche ( well I did before turning vegan!) It’s also great in salads.
My favourite thing to do with it though is to make wild garlic pesto. It packs a real punch. It’s gorgeous just stirred through pasta or used to flavour savoury muffins scones or soda bread.
So I’m sharing with you my recipes for both the pesto and wild garlic soda bread.
Wild Garlic Pesto
Makes enough pesto for 2 jars (or about 10 servings)
75g almonds (or a mix of almonds and pumpkin seeds.
75g Parmesan (or pecorino for a vegetarian alternative) plus extra to serve
160 ml virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil, plus extra to serve
75ml olive oil
100g wild garlic
Juice 1 lemon
1 baking tray
Food processor or pestle & mortar
Jars or tubs for storing pesto
1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Spread the nuts out on a baking tray or roasting tin. Place in oven for 10
minutes then put onto a plate to cool
3. Wash wild garlic and pat dry with a towel
4. Grate the cheese & squeeze the lemon
5. Place cheese, and wild garlic into food processor with cooled nuts and
whizz until thoroughly chopped. Add lemon juice and oil and whizz again
until forms a chunky paste. Your pesto is now ready.
If you don’t have a food processor you can finely chop the wild garlic then
grind them in a pestle and mortar with the nuts and cheese, adding oil near
Put the pesto into a sterilised jar, cover the surface with a little
more olive oil and put a lid on it. It will keep for 2-3 weeks like this in the fridge or put into plastic pots and freeze for longer
You can make a dairy-free version by just leaving out the cheese and
swapping the almonds for cashew nuts. Or use a tablespoon of nutritional yeast or even 1/2 a tablespoon of white miso paste is nice
You can make a less garlicky pesto by using half and half wild garlic and half
You can use any other nut in place of almonds e.g. pine nuts, hazelnuts,
walnuts or even pumpkin seeds
Wild Garlic Pesto Soda Bread
250g plain white flour
250g plain wholemeal flour
½ teaspoon ( tsp) salt
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
200 ml yoghurt
230 ml milk
4 tablespoons pesto
Large mixing bowl
Wire cooling rack
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees for conventional ovens or 180 degrees for fan ovens
- lightly oil a flat baking tray.
- Weigh out both your flours in a large bowl, mix together and add your salt and bicarbonate of soda.
- In a separate jug, measure out your yogurt and milk. Add pesto and stir together.
- Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with your hands or a spatula until it just forms a dough.
- Turn out on to a lightly floured board and use your hands to form into a ball.
- Transfer onto the oiled baking sheet and Use a sharp knife to draw a deep cross in your dough.
- Now just pop the tray into the oven to bake for 40 minutes until the bread has risen slightly and turned a nice golden colour. You’ll know if the bread is fully baked if it sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
- When you’re happy that your bread is baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. If you like you can place a slightly damp tea-towel over the loaf as it cools to prevent the crust becoming too hard.
Serve slightly warm with butter.
Is nice toasted and topped with wilted spinach and a poached egg
For a gluten free version just use a gluten-free flour
For dairy-free version use, 300ml of your usual plant milk with l tablespoon cider vinegar and You will need to use a cheese-free pesto too. (Alternatively, just whizz 2 handfuls of wild garlic in a food processor with a little olive or rapeseed oil)
Remember to wash your garlic leaves before using!