RECIPE: Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto

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I’ve just slumped down on the sofa with a pile of wild garlic pesto and a hot baked potato - essential refuelling after a beautiful walk in the spring sunshine! I took the dogs across the Sussex Downs for a six mile dose of vitamin D, and in a small woodland on the side of Harting Down we found a carpet of wild garlic leaves. Considering I only found the first sprouting leaves last week, the sunshine is certainly doing a great job at bringing the landscape back to life!

This recipe is adapted from my ‘pesto primavera’ in Food You Can Forage - my first book about foraging wild food and connecting with the seasons. That recipe uses Old Winchester cheese instead of parmesan to make it vegetarian, but I wanted to share this vegan version for those of us who have left cheese in the past. But to keep that cheesy, nutty flavour, I’ve used nutritional yeast flakes which are easily available from health food shops and eBay.

I deliberately didn’t include quantities in this recipe as I think pesto can be made in so many different ways depending on taste - you may want more olive oil to make it runnier, or more cashews to make it crunchier, etc. Start with a small amount of each and add more of what you like to make your perfect wild pesto - delicious with bloody everything.

RECIPE: VEGAN WILD GARLIC PESTO

INGREDIENTS

Cashew nuts
Wild garlic leaves
Olive oil
Nutritional yeast
Pinch of sea salt

METHOD

1. Chop the cashew nuts and wild garlic leaves as small as you like - I like the cashew chunks to be a little bigger for more texture.

2. Combine the chopped nuts and leaves with the olive oil, yeast and sea salt and stir well to combine.