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🌱 What to make when you come across a field of wild garlic? Wild Garlic & Basil Pesto Linguini.

I recently did a hike up on the hills surrounding my home in Cheltenham. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a seemingly endless field of wild garlic sprawling across a glade on the forest floor.


So, what to make with this versatile ingredient? Here's my recipe for wild garlic and basil pesto, made with walnuts and parmsesan which makes a perfectly delicious sauce for a linguini dinner.

 

Ingredients


75 grams of wild garlic (leaves only)

75 grams of fresh basil (use everything, stems ok)

1/2 garlic clove, minced

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

50 grams of toasted walnuts

100 ml olive oil

50 ml vegtable oil

50 grams of grated good quality parmesan


250 grams of dried linguini


*Salt and pepper to taste


 


Method


First, make the pesto. I adapted this recipe from another according to the ingredients I had left in my cupboard using walnuts instead of pine nuts, adding some basil and switching out rapeseed oil for olive oil and vegtable oil.


Get your food processor ready. You can also use a mortar and pestle if preferred, but the food processor is a bit easier. Simply combine the wild garlic leaves, basil, parmesan cheese, toasted walnuts, garlic, lemon juice & zest and a dash of salt in the food processor. The end result should be a texture that is slightly gritty (like wet sand) and very well combined.


Next, with the processor on medium, add about 75% of the oil combination through the feed tube. Take the bowl off of the processor and use a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are mixed together. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to your liking.


Transfer the mixture to a jar or other air-tight container. Cover the mixture with the remaining oil as this will help it to keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Seal tightly and put in the fridge. This is such a versatile condiment. This week, I have used it as a garnish to perk up fresh asparagus, as a spread on sour dough bread and of course, add the main flavouring for a bowl full of mouth-watering linguini.



To make the linguini (for 2 people), place 1/3 of the pesto mixture into a mixing bowl. Add a really good grind of pepper and a little more salt.


Cook 250 grams of the linguini as per the package instructions and make sure it remains al dente. When cooked, remove the linguini with tongs and add it to the pesto. Mix the linguini into the pesto mixture, tossing it with the tongs. Whilst you are doing this, add 4-5 tablespoons of the pasta water and continue to mix until all is well-combined.


If you wish, add in some roasted cherry tomatoes but this is perfectly awesome on it's own!


Serve immedialy and enjoy!





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