Welly-boots donned, rather cute basket at the ready, and in the company of 4 cute foragers (3 small, 1 big)- thus began my first wild garlic forage. the girls were beyond excited to carry the basket…somehow it’s not the same as a Tesco bag which is what I wanted to bring. They were right, I was wrong. Foraging wild garlic in a Tesco bag is just wrong. 🙂 Okay seriously, it was really exciting. Of course I had to try the flowers. I felt so mother earthy eating a flower. The foraging website that told me “Flowers of herbs and spices generally taste similar, but stronger”- was right. That was one punchy flower.Mouth still slightly burning, I decided to stick to the leaves only, but there was no stopping the kids, for as soon as they had heard the flowers were edible too, they were off…and I didn’t like to quash the foraging spirit.
And so, with our precious cargo, with frequent cries of “careful with the garlic!” we crossed streams, squelched in the mud, and generally rejoiced in Wales. Did I mention this was in the grounds of a castle up the road? Oh yes, and we happened upon a flock of sheep with their lambs as we left the grounds.
So here we are now, enjoying a random teacher training day in the middle of a term, and Amelia was really excited to make garlic pesto. On reflection she decided that, for herself, she would make basil pesto with just a few of the garlic leaves thrown in. One leaf, to be precise. 🙂 So we made two batches- basil pesto (+1 wild garlic leaf) and garlic and walnut pesto. We have just had a large and delicious bowl of wholewheat pasta, with basil pesto (the kids) and garlic pesto (me-I mixed it with the basil one)
I didn’t note down quantities, but as you know, pesto is basically:
Leaves+extra virgin olive oil+pine nuts+salt+cheese+garlic (optional)
Please note the following:
- If you are a cheapskate (like me) you can substitute cashews for pine nuts
- If you avoid cheese (like me, generally) you can throw in some Nutritional yeast, I always do.
- If you are making pesto with your wild garlic leaves, you will want to omit garlic cloves, obviously!
- If you avoid salt, well done, but your pesto will not be as tasty. Just my opinion. 🙂
- If you are doing this in a food processor (does anyone do it in a pestle and mortar anymore?) you will need to PACK your leaves in, till it seems too full at first.
- For the rest, taste-test, or look for a recipe online. Sorry to be unhelpful!
The garlic pesto was really delicious, I enjoyed it on every level, and I love that we picked it in a welsh forest!
More recipes to follow!