A Simple Wild Garlic Pesto Recipe

Pearl Sunny Cap preserving and canning jar 0.25 litre wild garlic pesto

Spring her­alds the start of wild gar­lic sea­son. This won­der­ful­ly aro­mat­ic plant so prized by for­agers can be found in abun­dance in many of our ancient wood­land through March, April and May.Follow our sim­ple wild gar­lic pesto recipe for a real sea­son­al treat, tra­di­tion­al­ly stirred through pas­ta but also incred­i­ble in a sandwich.

Ram­sons, Alli­um ursinum, is the main ingre­di­ent for this sim­ple wild gar­lic pesto recipe but the few flow­ered gar­lic Alli­um para­dox­um or the three cor­nered leek Alli­um tri­quetrum can also be used. Check out our guide to iden­ti­fy­ing and for­ag­ing for the five most com­mon species of wild gar­lic. Use young leaves from the start of the sea­son if pos­si­ble and flower heads from before seeds have start­ed to form.

Please for­age for these plants respon­si­bly. If you see evi­dence of over-pick­ing or tram­pling of a wild gar­lic colony please think again and look else­where. Keep waste to a min­i­mum and col­lect only what you need.


simple wild garlic pesto recipe bowl of allium ursinum flowers and leaves

This recipe pro­duces around 1 litre of wild gar­lic pesto.

  • 200g of wild gar­lic leaves, stalks and flower heads.
  • 400ml of fresh extra vir­gin olive oil.
  • 100g of pine nuts.
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice.
  • 100g grat­ed parme­san cheese.
  • Salt and pepper.


  1. Toast the pine nuts in a pan over a medi­um heat until gold­en brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Rinse your wild gar­lic, clean­ing away any soil or insects.
  3. Blanche the wild gar­lic for 10 sec­onds andim­me­di­ate­ly cool under cold run­ning water.
  4. Shake off excess water and pad with kitchen roll until some­what dry.
  5. Add the wild gar­lic, olive oil, lemon juice and pine nuts to a food proces­sor. Blend to a rough paste.
  6. Trans­fer to a bowl and stir through the grat­ed parmesan.
  7. Sea­son to taste.


Wal­nuts are a par­tic­u­lar­ly good and tra­di­tion­al alter­na­tive to pine nuts for mak­ing pesto. Using lime juice instead of lemon imparts a fruity zing to the recipe.

Preserving and Storing Your Wild Garlic Pesto

What­ev­er con­tain­er or jar you use add some addi­tion­al oil to the top. Under this lay­er of oil the pesto should be good for at least a fort­night kept in your fridge. For longer term stor­age freeze in jars, zip-lock bags or tup­per­ware con­tain­ers. I pack sin­gle por­tions into 250ml pre­serve jars leav­ing plen­ty of head­room to allow for expan­sion and to avoid crack­ing in the freez­er. These Sun­ny Cap jars from Pearl are per­fect for the job, they fea­ture a glass lid with reusable seal and rust­proof stain­less steel bands.

Oil based recipes such as this can­not be safe­ly canned or pas­teur­ized at home.

Pearl Sunny Cap preserving and canning jars 0.25 litre wild garlic pesto

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One thought on “A Simple Wild Garlic Pesto Recipe

  1. Vikki Hampshire says:

    Excel­lent recipe using these boun­ti­ful plants. It real­ly does make me feel like spring is here! The Pearl jars look fan­tas­tic in my pantry and are much eas­i­er to use and clean. Thanks a lot!

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