Tag Archives: wild garlic

Recipe: Cheese and Wild Garlic Pesto Twists

Each spring the woodland footpaths here abouts are fringed with wild garlic. I often pick a handful of leaves on my morning dog walks. Sometimes if I’ve got some time on my hands, I’ll pick enough to make a jar of wild garlic pesto, if I make enough of it, I’ll freeze some for later in the year. Wild garlic pesto is a potent thing, and should be consumed with caution, especially if you’re planning a hot date later that evening.

If you’ve got a couple of tablespoons of wild garlic pesto going spare, then these cheese and wild garlic pesto twists are a simple but excellent way to use the pesto. If you have no wild garlic pesto at all, then they’re just as good with regular pesto.

Recipe: Cheese and Wild Garlic Pesto Twists

It’s pretty straightforward and if they’re keen to get involved, it’s a fun thing for kids to get stuck into making too.

Cheese and Wild Garlic Pesto Twists

You will need:
Wild garlic pesto, about 1-2 tablespoons
1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
50g grated cheddar cheese
1/2 a ball of mozzarella, torn into small pieces
Melted butter to brush over

To make your Cheese and Wild Garlic Pesto Twists:
Pre-heat your oven to 200c. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and assemble your ingredients.

Lay out your puff pastry sheet and cut it in half down the middle lengthways. Spread your wild garlic pesto over one of the halves and sprinkle the cheddar and mozzarella over the top.

Lay the other piece of pastry over on top of the pesto and cheese; press down gently and then using your fingers, pressing around the edges to seal them together. Cut into 8 strips widthways and when you lay them in the baking sheet, twist them. Make sure there’s space between them as they will spread out a little in the oven.

Recipe: Cheese and Wild Garlic Pesto Twists

Brush each one with melted butter and bake for 15 minutes or so in your pre-heated oven. They should be nicely browned and some of the cheese may have escaped and bubbled a bit. This only makes them more delicious.

Once baked, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on the baking paper. The cheese will make them soft and prone to flopping and breaking unless you leave them to cool before moving them.

The finished twists make an excellent lunch with a pile of nice salad, or a great on the go snack for busy people. I usually bake two batches of these (double the quantity) because once they’re cool, they seem to disappear very quickly – always a good sign!

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try this wild garlic focaccia or these wild garlic and cheese scones.

Recipe: Cheese and Wild Garlic Pesto Twists

Recipe: Easy Wild Garlic Pesto

Each spring the woodland footpaths here abouts are fringed with wild garlic. I often pick a handful of leaves on my morning dog walks. Sometimes if I’ve got some time on my hands, I’ll pick enough to make a jar of wild garlic pesto. It’s a pretty simple thing to make and it stores well in the fridge. It’s also excellent to use in all kinds of dishes, not just your standard pasta with pesto.

Recipe: Easy Wild Garlic Pesto

I have all kinds of kitchen gadgets, but for pesto for some reason (I think possibly because it’s usually a small quantity) I use my nutribullet to whizz it all up. I like to add some fresh parsley to my pesto, I just really like parsley. You can leave it out if you prefer.

Easy Wild Garlic Pesto

200g wild garlic leaves, washed
50g fresh parsley, roughly chopped
50g parmesan, finely grated
1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
½ lemon, zested and juiced
50g pine nuts or walnuts, toasted
200ml good olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe: Easy Wild Garlic Pesto

To make your wild garlic pesto:
Rinse and roughly chop your wild garlic leaves. Put all the wild garlic, parsley, parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and juice and the toasted nuts in your blender or nutribullet, add the oil a bit at a time and whizz it all up until it’s chopped up and combined. Don’t use all of the oil, you’ll need a tablespoon or two for the top of the pesto.

Taste the pesto and season to taste, feel free to add a bit more lemon juice if you feel it needs it. I felt like I added a lot more salt than I imagined I’d need to, so don’t feel you need to be too frugal with the salt shaker.

Pour the wild garlic pesto into a clean jar and top with the remaining oil. The pesto will need to be used fairly quickly, ideally within two weeks.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try these wild garlic pesto twistswild garlic focaccia or these wild garlic and cheese scones.

Recipe: Easy Wild Garlic Pesto

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Focaccia

Being in lockdown isn’t easy. Some days I find myself going a little stir crazy, some days I’m listless in bed, other days I’m bursting with energy. I’m trying, where I can to just go with my mood rather than force myself to do things. Over the weekend the sun shone a little and I managed to leave the house and take the dog for a short walk on the field by my house. Along one shady side of the field is a path which in the spring in fringed with wild garlic. I can never resist pulling a few leaves and taking them home to make wild garlic scones or something equally lovely with them. Whilst it was quiet, I grabbed a handful of wild garlic, then headed home to bake some wild garlic and Parmesan focaccia, because everyone else is baking bread during lockdown, so why shouldn’t I?

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Focaccia

Focaccia is a pretty simple bread to make, it just takes quite a lot of time. From picking my wild garlic, to pulling my bread out of the oven took the best part of five hours, but it was five hours very well spent. Before I began I checked in with my lovely Italian friend, Sherwin. He is a keen baker and gave me some top tips for tip top focaccia. His advice was as follows…

Focaccia is a high hydration dough so it is sticky and wet. Use oil instead of flour when hand kneading the dough on a work surface and preferably a slow first rise of 12 hours in the fridge, but an hour at room temperature will do. Use well oiled hands  when transferring and shaping the dough into a baking tray making sure not to knock out too much of the air. You can put rosemary, olives, cherry tomatoes, courgette or cheese. Enjoy!

I followed his excellent advice. I chose to prove my dough for an hour in the warmth of my bedroom and then topped it with wild garlic and Parmesan. The result was like the best garlic bread you’ve ever had.

Wild Garlic and Parmesan Focaccia

500g strong white bread flour
1 and a half teaspoons of salt
2 sachets dried easy blend yeast
Olive oil, lots
400ml cold water
More olive oil for drizzling
20g wild garlic leaves, washed and finely chopped
30g finely grated Parmesan
A sprinkle of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Focaccia

Place the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and the water into a large bowl. Gently mix together with your hand to form a dough, then knead the dough in the bowl for five minutes.

Next you need to stretch and knead the dough by hand in the bowl for about five minutes.

Tip the dough onto a very well oiled work surface and then knead some more for about five more minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size, this takes about an hour. I put mine on my bed as my bedroom is the warmest room in the house, but whatever works for you.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Tip the dough out of the bowl and flatten the dough onto the tray, push the dough into the corners, cover with a large plastic bag or cling film, making sure it does not touch the top of the dough, then leave to prove for one hour.

Preheat your oven to 220C or Gas mark 7.

Using the tips of your fingers, dimple the focaccia all over, so it is covered in little dents. Sprinkle over the wild garlic and Parmesan, adding a generous twist of freshly ground black pepper and some sea salt. Drizzle over some more olive oil and then put in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.

Once it’s baked and out of the oven; drizzle with a little more olive oil and it’s ready to eat, hot or cold.

It is the most delicious bread I’ve made and if you can get your hands on some wild garlic, it’s well worth making yourself.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try these wild garlic pesto twistswild garlic pesto or these wild garlic and cheese scones.

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Focaccia

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones

Every year in March and April, the hedgerows and lanes hereabouts are abundant with wild garlic. When the wind blows in the right direction, we get a gentle whiff of garlic and off I go with a paper bag to collect a few leaves to cook with. One of my favourite ways to use it is in wild garlic and parmesan scones, which go really well with soup, or as a savoury snack with some good butter.

Of course when you’re foraging it pays to know a little of what you’re doing. Wild garlic can look pretty similar to other plants, some of which may be poisonous, but you can generally tell what is and isn’t wild garlic by the smell, which is, well, garlicky.

When you go foraging it’s important not to pick too much of anything. Take just what you need and save the rest for the wildlife or other foragers. If you’re foraging for wild garlic, you don’t need much anyway. It’s pretty pungent and a few leaves go quite a long way. I tend to try to pick the younger leaves in spots where I think (hope) dogs haven’t been. I always wash my wild garlic leaves before I use them anyway. You can find out more about wild garlic here.

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones

These wild garlic and parmesan scones are very delicious. They’re everything you want from a savory scone. I sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on the top which makes them extra delicious. This recipe makes about 8 big scones, though you could cut them smaller if you prefer.

Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones


125g butter
450g self-raising flour
50g finely grated parmesan cheese
5 wild garlic leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Big pinch of salt
Milk to mix, I used about 1/3 pint
Rock salt

How to make Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones:

Pre-heat your oven to 190° and put a sheet of baking parchment on a large baking tray.

In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the parmesan, wild garlic, bicarbonate of soda and pinch of salt and toss together. Little by little add the milk, mixing with your hands until it makes a soft dough.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and pat or roll it until it’s 1.5-2cm thick. I usually shape the dough and pat it down with my hands because it gives a slightly more rustic finish which I like. Cut the dough into rounds, don’t twist the cutter because this can prevent the scone from rising.

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones

Put the cut scones on the baking tray, brush them with milk and if you like sprinkle a pinch of rock salt on the top of each one. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they’re nice a brown and hollow when you tap them underneath.

Serve hot from the oven with lashings of butter, or with soup or a ploughman’s lunch.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like to try these wild garlic pesto twistswild garlic focaccia or this wild garlic pesto.

Recipe: Wild Garlic and Parmesan Scones