Springtime Wild Garlic and Nettle Pesto Recipe

Spring has sprung … Yay. So for our day today we decided to go foraging and baby lamb hunting as we know it is the, lambing, wild garlic and young nettle season on a walk we do. We are lucky on this walk as 2 sections are full of wild garlic and another young nettles so we picked away. We have done an experiment this year and used 2 types of nuts in the pesto, walnuts and pistachio. We also tried just wild garlic, half wild garlic and half nettle and finally half wild garlic and half rocket. We have lots of garlic left so will also try macadamia and half and half with the rocket tomorrow. So far our favourite is pistachio and half and half of garlic and rocket or nettle. You get a crunch from the nuts, salt from parmesan, acid from lemon juice and then the most wonderful lingering flavour of the garlic. The nettles also make it not too overpowering or garlicky. I promise you this will beat hands down any jar of Pesto you can buy from the supermarket and it is so fresh picked earlier today and transformed this evening. If you haven’t please give it a go, I have included some pictures of the garlic so you can identify it but to be honest you can tell by sniffing the leaves so really can’t go wrong.

Ingredients (this is for one Jar so double or triple up etc. for how many jars you would like, we made 4 today)

  • 75g wild garlic leaves washed
  • 75g prepared nettles or rocket
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 50g pistachio nuts (or your favourite)
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 150ml olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. If you are making this pesto with nettles, first bring a large pan of water to the boil, then drop in the nettles and cook for 2 mins. Drain and run under cold water, then squeeze out as much water as possible and roughly chop them.
  2. Add your nuts to a food processor and pulse a few times to break up the nuts
  3. Put the prepared nettles or rocket and raw wild garlic in a food processor, along with the Parmesan,  lemon zest and nuts. Blitz to a rough paste.
  4. With the motor running slowly, add almost all the oil. Taste, season and add the lemon juice. Transfer the pesto to a sterilised jar and top with the remaining oil. Will keep at least 4 weeks as long as you replace the oil top when using.



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