Wild Garlic and Hazelnut Pesto
A spring time recipe for you.
Everything I read about foraging for wild garlic, said it is an easy plant to identify and that it is quite safe to forage if you've never done it before.
So I felt quite confident when I put a recipe for Wild Garlic Pesto on Instagram using a photo I had taken on my dog walk. Except it wasn't wild garlic.
Sally who is a botanist (and makes our room mists) thankfully spotted my mistake but was kind enough to say that wild garlic is frequently confused with the more common Few Flowered Leek.
She added, "Most of what we think is wild garlic in East Lothian is actually a species called Few Flowered Leek. It’s just as edible and tasty as wild garlic though, and as it’s a non native invasive I encourage all to eat as much of it as we can! It's no problem to eat it, tastes the same! And you’ll actually be doing the real wild leek a favour if you do eat the imposter."
This recipe works just as well for wild garlic or indeed for few flowered leek but it's a bit of long name so I'll stick with calling this Wild Garlic and Hazelnut Pesto.
*The photo shows wild garlic leaves. The Instagram link shows Few Flowered Leek.
100g blanched hazelnuts
350g wild garlic leaves
100g hard sheep’s cheese,
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
Toast the hazelnuts in a small dry pan set over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
Put the wild garlic leaves in a food processor and pulse briefly. Once the leaves are coarsely chopped, add the hazelnuts and pulse again.
Now add the cheese and the olive oil and pulse again until you reach the desired texture. Season with salt and pepper.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape the pesto out into a large sterilised jar, then trickle a thin layer of olive oil on top to seal.
Store the pesto in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 2 weeks.