A different take on classic pesto, I love to make it with wild garlic and walnuts. At this time of year it is exciting to see their first green shoots appearing and I find it a joy to get out in the fresh air down by the stream and pick some. Unlike normal garlic, it is only the fresh young leaves that are used, not the bulbs, which are much smaller. To me it really feels like the first sign that spring is here. Daffodils are a joy….but you can’t eat them!
This delicious pesto can be served with grilled fish/chicken/tagliatelle with shaved Parmesan on top.
Ingredients – Makes approx. half a litre.
100g Wild garlic
100g Walnut halves
50g Vintage Devon Oke
375ml Rapeseed oil
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
I like to keep it local by using Bell
and Loxton’s fabulous cold pressed
rapeseed oil which is produced just
down the road from us in Kingsbridge.
What to do:
1. Wash & pick through the wild garlic leaves
2. Blanch them by briefly plunging them into boiling water then removing to iced water.
3. Once cool squeeze out the excess water.
4. Toast the walnuts in the oven for a few minutes until the skins begin to crisp up. Allow them to cool then rub them between your palms to remove most of the brown skin, which can be a little bitter.
5. Now place the leaves, walnuts, grated Vintage Devon Oke and pepper into a food processor blitz them up.
6. Once it begins to resemble a paste begin to slowly trickle in the oil while continuing to blitz.
7. Try to get it to emulsify to a thick sauce, but don’t worry if you don’t, it will still taste great and keep in the fridge for a week or two.