March 24, 2011

A walk on the wild side

Wild garlic is good for you. It’s particularly effective in reducing high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. Walk into a damp part of almost any wood in early spring, and an amazing carpet of wild garlic greets you. It flowers at the same time as bluebells, which colonise the drier ground. Try using the leaves and flowers as a base for pesto to eat with baked potatoes or pasta. This recipe is from one of my all-time favourite books, the Garden Cookbook, by Sarah Raven.

Wild Garlic Pesto

For a large jar:
2 handfuls (about 100g) of wild garlic leaves with flowers
200ml extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit more for sealing
50g pine nuts or walnuts
2 garlic cloves
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and black pepper

Blanch the wild garlic leaves in boiling water for about 10 seconds.

Refresh in cold water and pat dry on kitchen paper.

Put the wild garlic, olive oil, pine nuts or walnuts, together with the garlic cloves, into a food processor and blend to a puree.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the grated Parmesan. Season carefully and put into a sterilised jar.

Pour over a little extra olive oil to seal and cover tightly.

Or, if you're feeling a little more adventurous, you could always try your hand at making dandelion pesto. I'm certainly going to give it a try. You can find the recipe on David Lebovitz's fantastic foodie blog

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