A couple of weeks ago I was unpacking my veg box (something I look forward to with probably a bit too much enthusiasm), and I noticed that those lovely people at Riverford had thrown in a free pack of wild garlic leaves. I had been wanting to do something with some of these for a while, but hadn’t had chance to pick any up from anywhere.
They had a lovely, gentle smell of garlic that wasn’t as strong as you would smell from the bulbs themselves. My immediate thoughts turned to making some form of pesto to toss with some linguine. This was very easy to make. As I didn’t have pine nuts to hand, I toasted some walnuts instead, and this turned out very well. The walnuts lent the whole thing a slight bitterness, but still contributed that oiliness that you would be looking for.
I used my magimix to make this, as my pestle and mortar is far too small to try and make this by hand.
A pack of wild garlic leaves (this probably amounted to about three good handfuls)
Around 50g grated parmesan (this is a guess, I didn’t weigh it)
A small handful of toasted walnut halves
Salt and pepper to taste
Basically, you just need to whizz up, or bash up your wild garlic leaves (with some salt to help this along). Add your nuts, then the parmesan.
Slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream, until you are left with a lovely, vibrant green emulsified paste. You don’t want this too smooth, as it then gets a bit too uniform. It’s nice to have a few larger bits of walnut in there.
This was gorgeous tossed with some linguine. However, I did reek of garlic all evening, so not a recipe to choose on a hot date.
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