A Glug of Oil

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How to make Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto Recipe

Wild garlic pesto is, as is any pesto, really simple to make. 

I was very kindly given some wild garlic from a Chef friend of mine and so, immediately pesto came to mind. Wild garlic has a very strong garlic taste.

Recipe for how to make wild garlic pesto. Wild garlic pesto pictured in a pestle and mortar.

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Where and when to find wild garlic

Wild garlic grows across the UK from late winter until the end of spring.

Look out for it when you're out walking, especially in shady woods. You'll find that wild garlic is common throughout the UK as well as Europe and parts of Asia.

A word of caution!

The leaves are very similar to those of the plant lily of the valley and that is poisonous if eaten, so beware!

But once they flower, the flowers of the lily of the valley hang down like little bells, whereas wild garlic, as you can see from the picture below (once fully open) are more like little stars.

Wild garlic leaves and flowers on a wooden board.

Are wild garlic flowers edible?

Yes, you can eat the leaves and you can also eat the flower buds, flowers, and seed heads.

Apparently, you can even eat the bulbs.....not too sure I fancy that idea!

Of course, if you pull wild garlic up by the bulb part it will not grow again next year.


  • Wild garlic
  • Pine nuts - although you can use hazelnuts or almonds
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Parmesan
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

Ingredients for wild garlic pesto

It was a last-minute thought but I also added a few twists of La Chinata Red Pepper Flakes.

Have I mentioned this before?

I am totally addicted to red pepper flakes and use them in anything I possibly can!

They are sweet and not particularly hot, so don't confuse them with chilli flakes.

But for goodness sake don't pay the silly price they are asking on Amazon (at the time of writing)  because they are only £2.50 in Sainsbury's.

Do I need a pestle and mortar?

In my opinion, yes you really do! But you can make it in a small food processor but you will have to grate the parmesan first before adding it.

Plus you can't control the texture, your pesto will be mushy unless you use a pestle and mortar. I love my Jamie Oliver granite one because it has a rough inside that makes it easier to grind ingredients.

Wild Garlic Pesto pictured in a pestle and mortar.

Once made, pesto can be stored in the fridge in a Kilner jar or similar, any jar with a lid. It would keep for a couple of days.

Stir a little through pasta or spread onto bruschetta. Pesto is the way to go!

Can you freeze pesto?

Apparently, you can although I've never tried. Just put it into ice cube trays and freeze. 

Wild Garlic Pesto in a Jar

Try stirring a little wild garlic pesto through cooked pasta rather than the more usual tomato-based pasta sauce.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

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Yield: 0.25 litre jar
Author: Jan Bennett
How to Make Wild Garlic Pesto

How to make Wild Garlic Pesto

Delicious stirred through pasta (you only need a little) or spread onto bruschetta. Keep the flowers they are also edible!
Prep time: 8 MinTotal time: 8 Min


  • 40g wild garlic leaves - washed, patted dry and stalks removed
  • Sea salt - to taste
  • Black pepper - to taste
  • 60g pine nuts
  • 60g Parmesan - grated
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Lemon juice - to taste
  • Optional - a few twists of sweet red pepper flakes


  1. Add a teaspoon of sea salt flakes into a pestle and mortar.
  2. Add the wild garlic leaves and bash until they have broken down - the salt will help with this.
  3. Add the nuts and bash some more until they are all crushed.
  4. Add the olive oil and bash until smooth.
  5. Now add the parmesan and bash until you have a smoothish consistency.
  6. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice and black pepper.
  7. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the sweet pepper flakes if using.
  8. *You can if you wish throw the lot into a small food processor but you would need to grate the parmesan first.*
  9. I like to use a pestle and mortar because a food processor tends to leave the pesto without texture.
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