Wild Garlic Pesto is one of the most popular springtime pesto recipes and an excellent way to preserve wild garlic.
Wild garlic pesto is probably the most famous and popular pesto recipe in spring! By using wild garlic, the pesto becomes very aromatic with a wonderfully delicate garlic note. An incredibly great spring recipe for all wild garlic lovers!
In addition, homemade wild garlic pesto is great for preserving fresh wild garlic. You can store it in the fridge for several weeks.
The pesto tastes great with pasta, on bread, in sandwiches, or as a flavorful dip. Packaged in beautiful jars, it also makes a great gift from the kitchen.
Wild Garlic Season
The season of wild garlic is very short and lasts from March to April.
During very warm winters, the season can be shifted forward. Therefore, always be on the lookout for fresh wild garlic during an early spring stroll through the forest.
How To Harvest
Wild garlic is a small green plant that grows wild in our forests. It has a wonderful garlic taste and therefore goes best with savory dishes.
It’s best to take a bag with you to collect the wild garlic. You can pluck the leaves by hand or, if you prefer, take a pair of kitchen scissors and cut them off at the very bottom of the stem.
Young and small leaves of wild garlic are the most aromatic ones.
Hint: Be careful when harvesting wild garlic in the forest, as it is easily confused with the poisonous meadow saffron and lily of the valley.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Wild Garlic → The main ingredient! This green wild vegetable has a very intense garlic aroma. Can be picked yourself in the forest or bought in the supermarket. Attention, wild garlic should always be thoroughly washed.
- Pine Nuts → The best seeds for pesto! But since pine nuts are very expensive, they can also be replaced by almonds, cashews or hazelnuts. However, I find the pesto with pine nuts tastes the best.
- Parmesan → Grated parmesan or pecorino gives the pesto a more intense flavor.
- Olive Oil → Use a high quality extra virgine olive oil.
This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a cooking beginner!
- Wash the wild garlic thoroughly with water and dry with a salad spinner.
- Toast the pine nuts for a few minutes in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add all ingredients into a food processor (an immersion blender works too) and blend until you have a chunky pesto. Blend more if you like it smooth, or less if you like chunky pesto!
- Transfer the pesto into a clean jar and cover with more olive oil to keep it longer.
To keep your homemade wild garlic pesto fresh for as long as possible, you should store it in a clean jar (preferably rinsed briefly with boiling water), and cover it with olive oil.
Store it in a cool and dark place, in the refrigerator, or in a cold cellar.
To make it last as long as possible, you should cover the pesto with more olive oil every time you use it. 😉
How To Use It
Wild garlic pesto can be used in many ways. Here are a few ideas with what to serve it:
- Pasta, preferably spaghetti or penne
- Fresh bread
- Vegetable sticks
- As a pizza topping instead of tomato sauce
- In sandwiches
- On crispbread with cream cheese