Wild Garlic Pesto- Foraged and Vegan!

Wild garlic is a relatively new thing to me, it doesn’t grow in Australia, and here in the UK it isn’t particularly celebrated although it’s a really common woodland plant.

I made its acquaintance a few years ago in Germany, and thought it was one of those cool German/ Northern European foods that I would just have to savour when on the continent as I had never seen it around here in London.

But then I spied it here in the UK too, I think I may have seen an article in The Guardian about foraging for it…and then I found ridiculously overpriced bunches of it at a farmers market and knowing a bit about it, decided to research it a bit further… It was said to be really easy to forage for, in woods, where bluebells are and near streams. Which we have plenty of in our patch of forest. So, off I went for a spring walk. Up, and down, poking my nose around all the likely areas.. Nope.


None. None over there..

None over under that bit of wood

None… no wild garlic. WHY???? 

Why had I not found any I moaned,  WHYYYY!!!! ….

Moan moan moan…

So I bought that overpriced bunch at the market, and was the stinkiest person on the tube on the way home….  and  then made pesto out of it, leaving the pretty flower buds and a few leaves in a vase, justifying the expensive bunch by getting it to do double duty as decoration. 

And it is a pretty plant, with little white starry flowers and glossy green leaves…and quite a distinctive aroma. 

A few days later, The Gardener & I were walking home from work, up the hill, a hill I walk up every day, and past a little wood that leads into the forest. And he said ” look at all those pretty white flowers carpeting the forest floor over there.” and then he said….

“Hang on! They look like the wild garlic flowers you have in the vase on the kitchen table”

And promptly scrambled through the undergrowth..

Wild Garlic in the Forest

And dear reader.. It is the most enormous patch of wild garlic.

Less than 100 metres from my house.

I was walking past them EVERY DAY!

So… Now I have a super supply of springs yummiest allium, what am I going to do with them??  

Well. First of all, pesto. Pesto is brilliant- it can   be used in so many things, and best of all-  This pesto is super easy to make, AND  is dairy free. I guessed the quantities a bit, but this should make you a good jar full.

All you need to do is slick a thin layer of olive oil over the top to help preserve it  and pop it in the fridge ready to swirl into pasta, spread on sandwiches or use to create a tangy salad dressing. 


5 from 1 vote
Wild Garlic Pesto
Prep Time
15 mins
Author: Louise-Claire Cayzer
  • 2 big handfuls wild garlic- stems included!
  • 75 g pine nuts
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • Maldon or Kosher Salt
  • 2-3 Tbs Olive oil
  1. Make sure you wash, then wash again the wild garlic as there will be gritty bits, and no one wants gritty pesto
  2. Shove everything in a food processer and blitz.
  3. Stop every now and then and scrape down the sides of the processer
  4. Blitz until smooth- taste for salt
  5. Transfer to a glass jar & add a bit of olive oil over the top
  6. Keep in the fridge and use in everything!
Recipe Notes

Nutritional Yeast is a cheesy flavoured sprinkle that is made from a strain of yeast that is grown on molasses. It's really high in B vitamins and makes a great alternative to parmesan cheese to sprinkle.

You Might Also Like...


  • Reply
    May 15, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    The pesto is brilliant. Great on bread. Such a fresh taste. Better than my efforts with Wild Garlic bulbs… Great to find a native alternative to basil that flourishes here.

    • Reply
      May 16, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      So pleased you like it Guy! I’m going to make a another huge batch this week. The jar I featured here has mysteriously emptied πŸ˜‰

      • Reply
        Amy Barclay
        April 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

        How long does this last in the fridge?

        • Reply
          Louise-Claire Cayzer
          April 4, 2018 at 9:58 pm

          If you put a layer of oil (to preserve) this lasts up to 2 weeks. I like to save it for longer by spooning into icecube trays and freezing. Just thaw as many cubes as you need to use.

        • Reply
          Louise-Claire Cayzer
          May 5, 2018 at 5:09 pm

          It lasts for a week or so if you cover it in oil (which forms a layer against the air & prevents bacteria growing). I also freeze it in ice cube trays to use later in the year. . 1 cube = 1 TBS. ..

  • Reply
    May 17, 2015 at 6:51 am

    What a great find! I have never come across wild garlic either (in NZ)…but will keep an eye out for it now x

    • Reply
      May 19, 2015 at 10:04 am

      Let me know if you do find some! I think it might be quite invasive, so maybe hasn’t been introduced to the Southern Hemisphere. You could probably sub garlic chives… or a mix of garlic chives and nettles.

  • Reply
    Julie Small
    May 19, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Ha ha love this story! Your pesto looks delicious. I am a huge garlic fan but never tried wild garlic. Lucky you to have such a patch so close to home.

    • Reply
      May 19, 2015 at 10:02 am

      So pleased you love the story! I’m going to make a mega batch this afternoon as the season is coming to an end… sadly! The jar I made last week has completely disappeared!

  • Reply
    Asparagus, Potato & Wild Garlic Pesto Salad | Poppy and the Bees
    May 26, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    […] from a patch of wild garlic that I found down the road- you can find the recipe on this link….Wild Garlic Pesto. I’m quite obsessed with this pesto, and have made jars of it to last throughout early […]

  • Reply
    March 25, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Sooooo good! I have found the mother-of-all wild garlic caches in Leicestershire and will be making this every year.

    • Reply
      April 1, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Lucky lucky you! We have a nice patch here but it’s a bit slow coming up this year!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.