VEGAN AND GLUTEN FREE
It’s that time of year, the wild garlic is out. It’s in its masses on my local walk, so I’ve been busy foraging while on some beautiful family walks with the kids and fur baby Blu.
Wild garlic has so many benefits, it’s widely known for its antibacterial, antibiotic, and possibly antiviral properties, and contains vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and copper. Studies have also shown that it can also help reduce blood pressure, which could lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Now onto the important stuff!
It’s important to notice the difference between the flowers of the Wild Garlic plant and the Lily of the Valley. You can see the Lily of the Valley look like snowdrops and face down to the ground, their petals also are denser. Wild Garlic has an almost daisy-like, lighter petal, and the flower heads face up to the sun. They also give a distinct smell of garlic too! Lily of the Valley is highly poisonous so please take care to look for flowers that look like the image on the right and if you’re unsure, leave well alone.
- 50 g / ½ cup pine nut or walnuts are nice too!
- 100 g / 3.5 oz wild garlic leaves
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zest, and juice
- ½ tsp salt, more to taste
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- black pepper, to taste
- 120 ml / ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Wash wild garlic leaves really well and dry them with a kitchen towel or leave to air-dry.
- Dry-roast the pine nuts in a hot pan on low-medium heat. Make sure you stir them so they don’t bur and don’t be alarmed if you hear a few pops and cracks. Once they have turned slightly golden, leave too cool.
- Place all the pesto ingredients apart from the olive oil into a food processor. If you like a little sour kick to your pesto, you can use 4 tbsp / ¼ cup of lemon juice in the pesto mix, you may want to adjust the amount to your taste so make sure to add it a bit by bit instead of throwing it all in. Process until chopped small and then start trickling in olive oil through the funnel while the processor is still going.
- Spoon the pesto into a clean jar and top with an extra tablespoon of olive oil over the top to prevent mold from setting in. Store in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
- You can also cleanse and freeze in air-tight containers or carriers. Just make sure to carry out step one before freezing.
- Take care to cut the stems midway to allow the roots to remain for growth next year!
- Leaves can be added to all kinds of recipes, we enjoy them in stir-frys and soups too.
- Don’t throw the flowers away, they’re bitterness gives a lovely kick to most recipes and can be eaten with salads too.
For this evening’s dinner, we mixed the pesto with some gluten-free pasta and cooked chestnut mushrooms. Couldn’t resist some gluten and dairy-free garlic bread going on the side. Would you believe the kids still had room for some dessert and polished off the rest of the chocolate chip banana bread I had made the day before? The recipe for that is here
I hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to let me know what you thought of it in the comments below…