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Wild Garlic Pesto

VegetarianGluten Free

A foraging classic, for good reason: it’s simple, quick and delicious. You can serve it tossed through hot pasta, but more often than not we just eat it with some good bread and a leafy wild salad.

If you don’t have any sorrel, proceed without it and add some lemon juice to taste at the end.

Any leftovers can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days: it will keep better if you pour a layer of olive oil on top to stop the air oxidising it.

Serves : 8
Prep : 5 minutes
Cook :
  • 2 good handfuls (about 200g) of wild garlic
  • Small handful (about 80g) of wood sorrel or common sorrel
  • Handful (about 100g) of hazelnuts or pine nuts, or use a mixture of nuts as you prefer
  • Good handful of (about 100g) grated parmesan
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed (to give your preferred consistency)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put the wild garlic, sorrel, hazelnuts and parmesan into a food processor or blender.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and blitz to a rough purée. With the motor running, pour in as much oil as is needed to give the consistency you prefer.
  3. Taste for seasoning, and serve.


Recipe by Wild Food UK; development and photos by Otherwise


5 comments for Wild Garlic Pesto

  1. Chris Bryce says:

    we roast our nuts before blitzing them

  2. Julie Smith says:

    Oh my Gosh! this pesto was totally delicious!
    ….and thank you for a lovely afternoon of foraging on Friday 26.4.19 in Doveridge. So great that you have emailed all the information, I have now had chance to go over it all again to remember better. hope to see you again soon.

  3. matthew tarnowski says:

    I use marmite instead of parmesan!

  4. Colin Langston says:

    Quick question please; If a few nettle leaves or hogweed shoots were added, would it be necessary to first blanche them to nullify irritation from the hairs – or would olive oil and blitzing with the other ingredients achieve the same?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      I have made pesto using nettles and the stings were destroyed by blitzing, I haven’t tried with raw hogweed. The best thing to do would be to blanch any hogweed or nettles for a few seconds in boiling water then add to the blender.

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