Foraging recipe: wild garlic and walnut pesto

Continuing our two-part foraging special, here’s a top recipe that will help you make use of fresh ingredients easily sourced in nature’s very own larder.

Wild garlic (also known as ramsons, bear leek and stinking nanny) is easy to identify, widespread and delicious. You’ll probably smell this pungent plant before you find it carpeting the floor of shady woodland and lining riverbanks across the country. Both the spear-shaped leaves and pretty, white, star-like flowers are edible, with a mild, creamy taste. Wild garlic’s good for you too, apparently lowering levels of cholesterol.

Ingredients (makes 300ml of pesto)

100g of wild garlic leaves
50g of shelled walnuts
200ml of olive oil
40g of finely grated Parmesan or other hard cheese
Salt and pepper


  • Blend the wild garlic and walnuts into a coarse puree
  • Pour in the oil and blend again for a few seconds
  • Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese
  • Season with salt and pepper

Store the pesto in a jar, with a thin layer of olive oil on top, and it will keep for up to a week. Perfect with fresh pasta and salad.

How to forage responsibly

Where possible, get permission to pick from the landowner
Only pick where the plant is plentiful
Don’t take it all – leave enough for wildlife
Don’t dig up or remove plants