Really Simple Wild Garlic Pesto (Nut free)

Wild garlic is currently in season and in abundance along hedgerows up and down the country. They say there is no such things as a free meal but this simple recipe is as close as you can get.

I am allergic to nuts so cannot actually eat regular pesto. So, I have experimented for years with my own nut free alternatives and this is about the best. What is key to note it that it is so simple and, combined with pasta, makes a meal for under 10p per serving.

A big bunch of fresh wild garlic
Rapeseed Oil
Strong English Cheddar
Salt & Pepper

The method is simple – just throw it in a blender and blitz until it is a rough paste. Throw a few table spoons of the mixture over pasta and serve. What remains of the mixture can be put into a jar and stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Wild garlic is a fantastic ingredient but must be used immediately it is picked or it loses all flavour. Also, do not under estimate the importance of British rapeseed oil to this recipe. If you use olive oil… it will not taste half as good.

wild-garlic-flowers12Finding wild garlic

Wild garlic is mainly found in woodland or in hedgerows but you will smell it before you see it. The strong garlic smell will lead you directly to it. However, if you find bluebells the garlic will not be far away. The plant itself has long flat leaves and topped with small white flowers.

Unlike ‘normal’ garlic the leaves are more important than the bulbs. With a sharp blade cut the garlic as close to the base of the plant as possible and only take what you will use that day.

– Emily


  1. Mike of Swansea says

    Do you use Leaves / flowers / flower stalks or EVERYTHING above ground but AWAY FROM DOGS !!
    Always thought of using because I love the scent…

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    • You can use the whole lot but the flowers don’t do much. Let us know how you get on!

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  2. Be very careful as lily of the valley grows in the same places as wild garlic and is highly toxic and the leaves can look similar. Also pine nuts are actually seeds – though of course you can still be allergic to both them and nuts!

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    • Hi Lottie, Yes. you are correct. However, the smell from wild garlic makes it a little fool proof. 😉

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  3. Always wanted to find out about this plant ( But ! was afraid to ask – LOL ) and it’s uses , p.s. are there any more recipes for the wild garlic plant or is that a silly question ? I suppose it is usable everywhere you use any garlic recipe.

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    • Hi Gordon, It tends to be not as strong as ‘proper’ garlic in taste so I tend to find cooking to intensely it basically kills the flavour. However, because it is light in flavour it is nice just chopped in salads. I suppose I would be tempted to use it more like a chive than a garlic.

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