Basic Pesto Recipe

Pesto, or pesto alla genovese, is a sauce originating in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, in Italy. It traditionally consists of crushed garlic, European pine nuts, coarse salt, basil leaves, and a hard cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Sardo, all blended together with olive oil. Pesto means "to pound" or "to crush", which is a reference to the original way of preparing the dish - in a pestle and mortar. This is also where the word pestle comes from! Pesto is traditionally added to pasta, but the bright green paste has a broad range of uses, from flavouring soups, stews and other dishes, to one of Arthur's favourites - being served on toast topped with melted cheese! In this basic recipe, we substitute Basil with a suitable wild alternative, such as Wild Garlic, Garlic-Mustard, Chickeweed or Nettle.


Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cooking Time: None

Quantity: Makes a 350ml Jar of Pesto

  • 100g of Wild foraged greens.
  • 50g Grated Italian Hard Cheese, such as Paremsan or Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • 50g of Nuts - Traditionally Pine Nuts are used, but Hazelnuts, walnuts or unsalted Cashews will do.
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (if using Wild Garlic, these aren't required!).
  • 1 tbsp of Fresh Lemon Juice.
  • Lemon Zest (to taste).
  • Olive Oil - as much as required for your desired consistency.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.


  1. Wash, drain and roughly chop the wild foraged greens
  2. Add the foraged greens and garlic cloves to a food processor and blitz until fine.
  3. Add the nuts, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and blitz again until blended.
  4. Add the Italian hard cheese and blitz again, gradually adding olive oil until the mixture is at your desired consistency.
  5. Add a few grinds of salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Transfer to a jar and store in the fridge. Consume within 7 days.