Wild Garlic Pesto

with extra virgin olive oil

Wild garlic is lovely to use in pesto while it’s in season, although it makes a rather fleeting springtime appearance so you have to catch it while you can. For a slightly less garlicky and intense flavour, you can also substitute in a handful of fresh parsley to this recipe, to tone it down.

I use my Uncle Tom’s cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil from his grove in Abruzzo for this recipe, which has a beautifully low acidity and some peppery notes that complement the wild garlic. Because there are so  few ingredients in this recipe, it pays to use good quality and fresh ones where you can. It’s an incredibly quick and simple sauce to make, and as well as stirring it through pasta, it’s also delicious scraped over lightly toasted sourdough with some goats’ cheese, or served with crudités and flatbreads as part of a sharing platter.

Makes approximately 215g of fresh pesto


  • 70g fresh wild garlic
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 40g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 60-80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season


Wash your wild garlic and drain of any excess water.

Blend all your ingredients for the pesto in a small blender, adding the olive oil gradually – stop when you have reached the desired consistency (I prefer to keep it a bit thicker so only add 60ml of oil, plus a generous squeeze of lemon). Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

If you’re not going to consume it immediately, you can store it in an airtight jar – simply cover the surface with a little extra olive oil before sealing the jar, and it will keep for several days in the fridge.