3 weeks back the Chap and I went for our first forage of the year and were pleased to see the wild garlic sprouting already. We’ve been meaning to go back since but have variously been deterred by rain, being busy and watching the opening 2 weekends of the 6 nations rugby. So today, it being reasonably sunny (though very windy) and lacking in rugby fixtures we made the trip and found a lot more of the garlic has come up.
As a contrast this is the same area I pictured last time, you can see many more of the shoots have unfurled properly, and the river has taken its rightful place within it’s banks again! There were also plants all the way along this stretch that weren’t in evidence last visit so we should have plenty to keep us going this year.
So we stocked up and came back with about 300g of the stuff. We’re wild garlic pesto aficionado’s and made a few batches once we got home trying out using hazelnuts as well as the standard pine nuts and adding lemon juice to some. I think the lemon juice really lifts the mix and I’m a big fan of that version. Otherwise I did prefer the pine nut version to the hazelnut one. I also made one batch with half basil and half wild garlic as I had some fresh basil in the fridge to be used up which was lovely. So with this many herbs I’m going to enter this into this month’s Herbs on a Saturday over at Lavender and Lovage. Having just nipped over there I’ve also found that serendipitously this month there is a mini-theme of foraging! :-)
We’ve adapted our pesto from the HFW recipe in his Hedgerow book which incidentally is a good read as are the seashore and mushroom ones in that series.
50g wild garlic, rinsed well of any mud etc
30g pine nuts / hazelnuts
30g parmesan / veggie version
80ml olive oil + a little extra
S + P
10ml lemon juice – if using
Rough grate the parmesan and place it, the nuts, garlic and salt and pepper in your FP and blend.
With the motor running once more add the lemon juice. You can do this in 5ml increments if you want until it’s pleasing to your own taste. I made one batch deliberately more lemony as that’s my favourite.