Every April we pick and use as much wild garlic as we can as it grows in abundance around the estate! When out on your own walks, it is easy to find and you will probably smell its pungent garlic scent before you see it. It grows in woodlands in Spring. Its leaves are long, pointed and smooth oval shape. There will be buds about to burst into flower, or if in flower, a very pretty and delicate white flower with six petals on a thin stalk shoots up from the centre of the plant.
Here is a simple recipe for wild garlic pesto. Its great stirred into pasta and makes an awesome garlic bread!
Food processor or pestle and mortar
Fine cheese grater
Storage jar (sterilised)
Large double handful of Wild Garlic leaves
60g Nuts (any are fine, we often use almonds, walnuts or cashews)
60g Parmesan cheese, grated
150ml Olive or rape seed oil, not extra virgin
1. Rinse your wild garlic leaves, and pat them dry. You can add the buds and flowers if you have collected any, or you could use these to decorate a salad.
2. Add the nuts to the food processor, and blitz them to a crumb-like texture.
3. Add the wild garlic and blitz again until the leaves are finely chopped
4. Now add the Parmesan and blitz again until everything is combined
5. If you have a pouring hole in your food processor use this to add your olive oil slowly while the food processor is on until you get your desired consistency and then season to taste with salt .
7. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze in ice cube trays or small containers.
The trick is not to panic if you don’t have any of the right ingredients, just adapt and overcome… Wild garlic is strong so you don’t need to use pine nuts like with a normal basil pesto, as it can tolerate stronger nuts. Or if you don’t have any nuts, you could use stale breadcrumbs. Equally the oil you use doesn’t matter too much for the same reason so we suggest using what you have – even a simple vegetable oil will be ok!
Why not book a stay at Pentillie Castle, and explore the West Country from our doorstep. You can also call us on 01579 350044 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.