An upside of the endless rain is woodlands brimming with Ramsons, or Wild Garlic. So it seemed like a great opportunity to try our hand at Wild Garlic Pesto. With two dogs in tow, we headed to the woods and filled two SeaKisses Jute Bags to the brim with garlic leaves. With the benefit of hindsight it might have been a good idea to check a recipe first, but this was a spur of the moment decision. We only needed one of the bags and we gave the second one to someone who was inspired by our adventure and went off to make her own.

The bags were a great way to easily carry the leaves and we returned home to start the making.

We consulted several recipes and made several batches with slightly different results. I have to say that you can’t really go wrong with such a gorgeous and fresh ingredient and you definitely don’t need to be precise. The batch that we liked the best was approx:


100g wild garlic leaves

50g grated parmesan

50g toasted pine nuts

Rape Seed Oil - enough to get the consistency you like. (We tried Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but it gave a heavier taste which we thought took away from the taste of the pesto)

Good squeeze lemon juice - approx 1 lemon

Pinch salt flakes

We crammed all the leaves in a small blender and then added the rest of the ingredients on the top, whizzed it, adding more of what we thought it needed according to taste. It’s deliciously messy and there was a lot of green to clean at the end.

We added some parsley to one batch, which gave a slightly different taste, but we didn’t think made a huge improvement. To be honest the garlic is quite strong so we weren't convinced you could really taste it. You can also use hazelnuts which would have been good, but we didn’t have any, so that’s for next year.

We popped some in a jar and covered the top with oil. This should have lasted for a good two weeks, but was so delicious it was eaten much faster than that. Ellie, who actually made the pesto whilst I took pics, also bought some large ice cube trays which meant we have frozen a lot more to use over the next few months. This was a genius idea.

We have used it with pasta, as a filling for a lamb shoulder at Easter, on the top of roasted vegetable tarts, spooned through new potatoes, as a topping for fish and I quite often have it spread on toast for lunch, although this renders it impossible to speak to anyone you want to impress for the rest of the day!


May 14, 2024 — Sue Hawken

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