Wild pesto

Wild pesto

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 2 mins


Makes 275g jar
Transform your foraging finds into a tangy sauce with Parmesan, garlic, lemon and pine nuts - use fresh young nettles or wild garlic leaves

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal65
  • fat7g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs0g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein1g
  • salt0g
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  • 150g young nettle or wild garlic leaves, or a mixture (foraged - see tip)
  • 50g parmesan, finely grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • zest ½ lemon and a good few squeezes of juice



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 50g pine nuts, toasted
  • 150ml rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…


  1. If you are making this pesto with nettles, first bring a large pan of water to the boil, then drop in the nettles and cook for 2 mins. Drain and run under cold water, then squeeze out as much water as possible and roughly chop them.

  2. Put the prepared nettles and/or raw wild garlic in the small bowl of a food processor, along with the Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and pine nuts. Blitz to a rough paste. Season, and with the motor running slowly, add almost all the oil. Taste, season and add a few good squeezes of lemon juice. Transfer the pesto to a clean jar and top with the remaining oil. Will keep for two weeks.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
17th May, 2016
Can this be frozen?
11th Apr, 2017
You can freeze it if you make it with everything except the cheese - beat this in with some butter after it's thawed.
26th Apr, 2015
Can you use dandelion leaves instead?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th May, 2015
Hi Jum1,  thanks for getting in touch. We would suggest that a few dandelion leaves would be fine, combined with the wild garlic but to just use dandelion leaves would produce a very bitter result so we wouldn't advise doing so.
11th Apr, 2017
I'm trying this tonight, we have nettles and wild garlic growing in the woods behind our house. One pesto tip that non-Italian recipes (including this one) often get wrong - NEVER, EVER put parmesan in the food processor. Grate it and beat it in afterwards with some butter. Otherwise the oil comes out of the cheese and makes the pesto glutinous and unpleasant.
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