Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcraft Blog Saturday, 02 April 2011 08:55
In this Badger Bushcraft Blog article we will be using the wonderful and abundant ramsons or wild garlic (Allium ursinum) to make a truly delicious yet simple pesto.
The area of Kent in which I live is a fine example of why the county was often been referred to as The Garden of England despite the removal of many hop fields and orchards; there is wild food that grows without the intervention of man in very abundant quantities if you know where to look.
The wild garlic is known by most country folk as ramsons and here in the local woodlands it grows in abundance and you are often able to smell it long before you see it. Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) is in the Liliaceaeor or lily family of plants with the Allium genus including garlic, leeks and onions.
Despite the fact that ramsons is a relatively easy plant to identify I would suggest caution when gathering as it is all too tempting to harvest this plant in huge handfuls thus collecting unwanted and potentially poisonous species. As with gathering all wild foods “if in doubt leave it out”.
I tend to wash the ramsons in a sink of cold water to sort through and find the best leaves and remove any unwanted twigs, leaves and possible unwanted species!
For this Badger Bushcraft recipe you will need the following ingredients:-
- Freshly picked, washed and sorted wild garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 200g of Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan)
- 100g pine nuts
- Sea salt flakes to taste
I poured 500ml of the extra virgin olive oil into my old and well used blender followed by a generous handful of wild garlic, half the Parmigiano Reggiano that I had previously grated, half the pine nuts and a large pinch of salt. I proceeded to blend the ingredients on the blenders pulse mode initially before advancing to a faster blending speed.
Once the first half of the ingredients are blended I would suggest you try the wild garlic pesto so you may add salt to you own personal taste. You can now add the remaining ingredients with some more of the ramsons and continue to blend until you have the texture and flavour you require.
Once you have the flavour you desire decant into a jar and store in the fridge. I tend to go through the first jar in no time and then make more during the season which I put into plastic tubs and freeze so I have a supply for the rest of the year. This recipe produces approximately 750ml of the wild garlic pesto.
Try this by baking some garlic bread in the oven, with fresh pasta or as a marinade for meats - I think you will be surprised at how delicious this wild garlic pesto is!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and have found it useful but please do leave us your comments and recipes. We’d love to hear what you do with your wild garlic and we can feature your concoctions of the Badger Bushcraft Blog for you!