At this time of year with the seasons changing and temperatures creeping up, I’m always inspired to get outside. We use foraged ingredients throughout our menu at Benedicts and when we go on our family walks, we’re always on the lookout for nature’s snacks as we go round. Wild garlic is in abundance throughout East Anglia right now and it’s one of my favourite foraged ingredients. This gorgeous, green gift accompanies Ex Dairy Cow Sirloin on our menu at the moment and I’ve given you below a delicious recipe for Wild Garlic Pesto which to me, is the taste of spring. When going out to forage, please make sure you are certain you have the correct edible herb in hand, before starting to nibble on it. Also always follow the foraging code, be gentle when removing the leaves from the plant, to not disturb the bulb and root and only take as much as you need. 🌱
Wild Garlic Pesto
Makes a 250g jar
- 50g Your Favourite Nuts i.e. Walnuts/Hazelnuts/Almonds/Pine Nuts
- Good Handful of Washed Wild Garlic (Roughly Chopped)
35g Parmesan or a Hard English Mature Cheese (Finely Grated)
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- A Few Drops of Lemon Juice
- 125g Rapeseed Oil or Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to Season
Preheat your oven to 170° and pour the nuts onto an ovenproof tray. Place your nuts in the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
When the nuts are completely cooled, place them into a food processor or pestle and mortar along with the garlic, Parmesan and lemon zest and blend or bash until you have a beautiful, green paste. Slowly add the oil, scraping down the sides until you have a vibrant, green pesto with a sloppy, dropping consistency. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and place in a sterilised jar, topped up with oil and close the lid. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month unopened.
Once opened, consume within five days.