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How to Make Wild Garlic Pesto

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 pesto in a pestle and mortar

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Wild Garlic Pesto

Look out for wild garlic when you're out walking, especially in shady woods. You'll find that wild garlic is common throughout the UK.

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 are (once fully open) are more like little stars.

Wild garlic leaves and flowers

Ingredients in this Recipe

  • 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 told you before? I am totally addicted to red pepper flakes and use them in anything I possible 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 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 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

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

Pesto Recipe

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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