Devon recipe: Wild Garlic Pesto from River Cottage HQ

Get out into Devon’s woodlands this spring and gather wild garlic to make this fantastic recipe sent to us at Visit Devon from the award-winning River Cottage HQ.

The fabulous foodies at River Cottage love to forage, and say: “Wild Garlic lends itself perfectly to a pesto, and pignuts make an excellent wild replacement for the familiar pine nuts.”

Not sure where to find wild garlic? Look in shady, damper areas – in woodland, near a stream is usually a likely spot. Or, join us on Twitter @VisitDevon and Facebook /VisitDevon where we’re asking those in the know where they find #DevonWildGarlic

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Wild Garlic Pesto from River Cottage
Makes one small jar

  • 50g Wild Garlic leaves, washed
  • 30g Pignuts, sliced and briefly toasted in a little oil in a frying pan
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 80ml olive oil, plus extra to cover
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put everything except the oil in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds. Continue to whiz while slowly adding the olive oil through the funnel.

If you prefer to leave things a little coarser, take the traditional path and finely chop the wild garlic leaves. Then grind them with the pignuts and parmesan, using a large pestle and mortar, and add the olive oil towards the end.

Whichever you decide upon, transfer to a jar, pour sufficient olive oil on top to keep the pesto covered, close the lid and store it in the fridge. Under its layer of oil, the pesto will keep for several weeks. Stir into pasta and soups, brush over grilled fish or chicken … this pesto is very versatile.

Discover the wild food secrets of Britain’s hedgerows …
… With a day of countryside foraging at the River Cottage Cookery School. Learn to spot some of the many edible plants that can be found growing in our hedgerows, woods and fields on a one-day Hedgerow Foraging course with wild food and mushroom expert John Wright. You’ll roam the beautiful Devon countryside gathering your edible finds, before returning to River Cottage HQ to study, cook and feast upon your finds.
Find out more