wild garlic close-up

IMG_0320by Fergus

Well, spring must be on its way, as there is already some wild garlic poking its head up above the February frosts, at a secret location.  And we all know that means… PESTO!

I don’t know how widespread garlic is in other secret locations around the land this early on. I heard that up in Alyth, in the venerable county of Angus, some wild garlics are only just timrously poking their spiky heads into the chill air – but for some reason they are already in full fling in… (OK, I will reveal the secret location, it is Roslin Glen south of Edinburgh).  I have noticed that there is evidence of mysterious pagan goings on down in that there glen, with incense and little beads and ribbons tied to the trees – perhaps this isn’t a coincidence?

Oh well, whatever the reason, the outcome is the same – very tasty!  This was my recipe:


Two big jacket pocket-fulls of garlic
A squeeze of lemon juice (Hmmm, not very local, but at least this was an organic one)
A glug or two of cold-pressed rapeseed oil
A fistful of mixed nuts
A 4cm x 4cm block of cheddar
Some salt and pepper


All ingredients were put together in a blender.  Tall thin blenders with a squiggly little blade at the bottom just don’t work for this – the garlic is just too springy and sits in a bunch, refusing to be cut!  But if you have one of those cylindrical blenders with flat horizontal blades, these work quite well.  Or you could resort to the time served method of chopping up your garlic small with a knife, then pounding it into submission with a big pestle and mortar.

I had mine with pasta, as a hand-foraged (gourmet?) version of the student classic ‘pasta and pesto’ combo. A great lazy dinner after a walk in the woods!


  • Dan the Man April 9, 2013 at 20:05

    I made some with almost the same recipe…accidentally put some more garlic in without thinking! So its pretty garlicky.

    I was expecting it to taste like pesto and it didn’t…but its still good!

    Nice article Fergus.

  • Helen Gilroy February 27, 2013 at 20:30

    Fantastic idea, I haven’t tried this before! It’ll be another couple of months before there is any sign of it here I reckon, though I’ll be looking out for it now. The north east (near Elgin) has a great climate but obviously not as tropical as the central belt.
    What else do you forage?