I’m always really happy when I see the wild garlic appear, it just feels like we’re finally turning a corner and Summer is on the way. David always mocks me and says I sound like i’m going to go skipping bare foot through a glade of wild garlic with a crown of wild garlic atop my brow when I start harping on about it. He is not a wild garlic fan.
It makes a really nice pesto though and there is something I love about having been and picked it myself from nature. I get all Ray Mears and have to stop myself from running down to Millets to invest in some walking boots and one of those safari vests. I find the best thing to do is to try and get some from a bank that’s slightly raised and away from footpaths, you know, away from where dogs have probably peed all over it. I go for where the deer have probably peed all over it. Something more organic about deer wee? Obviously give it a really good wash before you cook with it…
Do NOT confuse it with Lily of the Valley which is highly poisonous.
This is what wild garlic looks like, do you see the little star shaped flowers? Ok but you need to pick the leaves before the flowers have opened otherwise it’s not as nice. You should be able to smell it though, wild garlic smells of wild garlic. I’m assuming lily of the valley smells like the soap from Crabtree & Evelyn that my Great Aunty used to buy my Mum at Christmas.
The season goes from around March to the beginning of June.
30g wild garlic leaves
30g pine nuts or I have used almonds bfore
30g parmesan cheese grated
10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or so that the pesto is covered with a layer to keep it from discolouration
Grinding of black pepper
If you have a pestle and mortar, you can bash this up in there. I used a mini chopper and began by whizzing up the leaves until they were chopped. I then added the nuts and whizzed again until they were chopped. Then transfer to a bowl, mix in the grated parmesan, a good grinding of black pepper and pour the olive oil over until the pesto is covered.
Serve with tagliatelle or pasta of your choice.
Did the kids eat it? One did! I have one pesto eater and one very vehement non pesto eater! Ruari actually complained that I had not given him the wild garlic one. My fussy eater, I never ever thought i’d see the day!