This Wild Garlic & Walnut Pesto is such a versatile sauce with pungent wild garlic notes coming through beautifully! Wonderfully seasonal, wholesome & delicious. Perfect with pasta, stirred through soups & stews or as a marinade.
Continuing my love affair with wild garlic, today I’ve got for you this fantastic Wild Garlic & Walnut Pesto! Its flavour is simply incredible and quite different from the store bought one due the use of wild garlic of course but also walnuts instead of pine nuts.
I love pesto and have a jar in my fridge at all times but it wasn’t until recently I’ve started making my own. It is such a great ingredient to have on standby for those store-cupboard, quick suppers but I always thought as it’s relatively cheap to buy why would I bother to make it? Well, domestic goddess in me (I can see my hubby rolling his eyes lol) encouraged me to give it a go especially that it takes next to no time to knock one up. With wild garlic season upon us and in my weekly veg box I decided to take a plunge and hey presto I’ve got myself homemade pesto!
How can I use Wild Garlic & Walnut Pesto?
Pesto is super versatile and can be used in so many dishes either as a main player or flavour enhancer. Did I mention that it is super quick and easy to make?Another great thing is that if you make your own you know exactly what’s in it! There are so many ways of using this gorgeous pesto:
- You can stir it through pasta
- Add to risottos and other rice dishes
- Use it as a marinade as I have done in this Roast Chicken with Wild Garlic Pesto & Shallots
- Swirl it through soups (take a look at my Soup Recipes for inspiration)
- Use it as a dipping sauce or mix it with some mayo for use in sandwiches or burgers (like these delicious Easy Chickpeas & Carrot Falafel Burgers)
- Add it to stews and casseroles as flavour enhancer (as I’ve done in this Wild Garlic Pesto Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings)
- Spread it all over salmon fillet before baking & make into sauce as I have done in this Wild Garlic Pesto Baked Salmon with Gnocchi
What if I don’t have wild garlic?
For those of you who cannot get your hands on wild garlic (it can be tricky unless you can forage for it, are close to a really good farmers’ market or use veg box scheme that provides it) you can simply substitute it with 2-3 regular garlic cloves and 80-100g of fresh basil or even parsley. It will be different but definitely not less delicious. You could also experiment with different nuts (already mentioned pine nuts or hazelnuts or even almonds) and find the ones that suit you best.
Some handy tips and advice on freezing and storing your homemade Wild Garlic & Walnut Pesto
I’ve used some leftover fresh parsley stalks as I had them handy and they also help to preserve the lovely green colour. Adding a touch of lemon juice would be another method but that will slightly change the flavour of your pesto so make sure you are happy with it first.
Pesto freezes really well for up to 3 months or keep in the fridge for up to a week. Freezing it in ice cube tray always works well as it will give you perfect little portions every time you need them.
How to Make Wild Garlic & Walnut Pesto – Step-By-Step
3. Add wild garlic and parsley stalks (if using) and blend until mixture resembles paste.
Wild Garlic & Walnut Pesto
- 100 g wild garlic washed and dried
- 50 g walnuts toasted
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil (+ little extra for the jars)
- 30 g parmesan (or vegetarian equivalent) grated
- small bunch of parsley stalks optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- Toast walnuts in a dry pan for couple of minutes until fragrant but not coloured. Make sure you give a pan a little shake every so often.
- Pop toasted walnuts in a food processor and blend them until they have sand like consistency. Add wild garlic and parsley stalks (if using) and blend until mixture resembles paste.
- With food processor running, very slowly pour in the olive oil (trickle it in) which will help to emulsify and loosen up the garlic & walnut paste.
- Add grated cheese, salt & pepper and give your mixture one last quick blitz.
- Transfer to jars & cover with extra drizzle of olive oil to help and preserve your pesto in the fridge.
- Nutritional values are approximate and per 125ml (1/2 cup) jar of pesto.
- I've used some leftover fresh parsley stalks as I had them handy and they also help to preserve the lovely green colour. Adding a touch of lemon juice would be another method but that will change the flavour of your pesto so make sure you are happy with it first.
- Pesto freezes really well for up to 3 months or keep in the fridge for up to a week. Freezing it in ice cube tray always works well as it will give you perfect little portions every time you need them.
- If you don't happen to have any wild garlic simply substitute it with 2-3 garlic cloves and approx 80-100g basil or parsley for different take on pesto.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on 2 May 2018 and updated in March 2019 with some more useful info.
Some other recipes you might enjoy:
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Have you tried my Wild Garlic & Walnut Pesto? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, I love reading them!
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I’m linking my Wild Garlic & Walnut Pesto with the following pages:
Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice
Brilliant Blog Posts hosted by Vicki at Honest Mum Blog
Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily at A Mummy Too
Got to be gluten free linky hosted this month by Kate at Gluten Free Alchemist