Handmade ravioli with goat meat filling and wild garlic pesto
Handmade ravioli with goat meat filling and wild garlic pesto sauce

I have to confess that I’ve planted nothing in the polytunnel this year.  We’ve had so many ups and downs since January, planting has been the last thing on our minds.

However, that hasn’t stopped things growing.  There is a tub full of herbs, which include parsley, lemon balm, thyme, chives and rosemary and also a large and overpowering sage plant.

Potatoes I missed from previous years are popping up all over and the rocket is growing in untamed abundance.  Apart from the nettles which are never far away, there is plenty of wild garlic.

I was keen to make some pesto but I’m really not fond of pine nuts.  I did have a bag of walnuts in the cupboard, which should be a good enough substitute, they’re still nuts after all!

I fought my way through the stingers with rubber gloves on, to pick a bunch of the pungent wild garlic leaves.

In no time at all I had whisked up a jar of vibrant green pesto which tasted heavenly.  I couldn’t wait to make some pasta to daub it on.

This sauce goes really well with my Quick Ricotta Gnocchi recipe.

Wild garlic pesto

  • Difficulty: easy
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Wild garlic pesto made with walnuts and lemon balm

  • 80g wild garlic leaves
  • Couple of sprigs of lemon balm
  • 50g grana pandano (or parmesan) cheese
  • 50g walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 50ml sunflower oil
  • 50ml olive oil
  1. Wash the wild garlic leaves, lemon balm and dry them carefully
  2. Chop the leaves finely in a food processor or blender
  3. Grate the cheese
  4. Chop the walnuts (I used a mini chopper)
  5. Add the cheese, salt and pepper to the wild garlic mix and blend
  6. Add the half of the oil and blend
  7. Add the walnuts and blend
  8. Add the remaining oil and blend
  9. Spoon the mixture into a sterilised jar and top up with olive oil so that the pesto is covered
  10. Store in the fridge until used


Wild garlic and lemon balm pesto with walnuts
Wild garlic and lemon balm pesto with walnuts