Wild Garlic Pesto

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. This recipe uses wild garlic in place of basil, and hazelnuts in place of pine nuts, although any fresh, unsalted nuts will do. There's also a zingy addition of some lemon zest, which really compliments the garlic and cheese. 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!


Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cooking Time: None

Quantity: Makes a 350ml Jar of Pesto

  • 100g of Wild garlic leaves.
  • 50g Grated Italian Hard Cheese, such as Paremsan or Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • 50g of Hazelnuts - Traditionally Pine Nuts are used, but walnuts or unsalted Cashews will also do.
  • 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 garlic.
  2. Add the chopped leaves 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.

Mix it up ...

Why not substitute the Wild Garlic in this recipe with other foraged greens, such as Nettle, Chickweed, Hairy Bittercress or Garlic Mustard? You could even use a combination of different wild greens, along with edible wild flowers, like Lady's Smock? You can also use cashews or walnuts in place of hazelnuts.