Wild garlic is coming into season, and can be found in most woodlands around the UK. If you’re based in London most markets should now have it (I saw it at Borough Market last week). My favourite way of using wild garlic, as taught by Rob Andrew at the Riverford Field Kitchen, is to make fresh pesto, and it couldn’t be easier.
- Equal measures of wild garlic, grated parmesan (or similar hard cheese) and hazelnuts or walnuts
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Roughly chop the wild garlic and then pulse in a food processor with a big glug of olive oil
- Chop finely or crush the nuts in a pestle and mortar, add to the wild garlic with the grated cheese
- Blitz, adding more oil as required to get the preferred consistency
- Finish off with some salt to taste and a squeeze of lemon juice
This pesto can be kept in a sealed jar in the fridge for a week or so. To keep it air tight, create a ‘seal’ with a layer of olive oil on top. It also freezes well, so fill an ice cube tray and use as and when you want it.
Wild garlic roast chicken
A great way of using the pesto is on a roast chicken.
- Gently loosen the skin from the breast meat (going in from the neck-end)
- Stuff the gap with some pesto as well as smothering a thin layer over the top of the skin
- Fill the carcass with some fresh wild garlic and half a lemon
- Roast as per the instructions/weight of the bird