Move on over basil, there’s a new pesto in town! Our Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto packs a real punch, and makes the most of fresh foraged leaves.
Where can I find Wild Garlic?
In Spring you can forage wild garlic, allium ursinum, in the woods. You can also sometimes find it at local markets when it is in season. If you want to pick you own wild garlic (which we fully recommend you do!) we put together this detailed guide on How to Forage Wild Garlic for you.
Picking wild garlic is a family tradition in Austria, where it is known as Bärlauch. We first made wild garlic pesto Bärlauchpesto on our travels in Austria in our campervan. Now, every year, we eagerly await the spring so we can make more! Try our recipe and you will understand why!
How do you make vegan pesto?
The traditional ingredients for pesto are basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. So to make pesto vegan we want to swap the cheese out. Nutritional yeast, also known as “Nooch’, is ideal. It has a nutty, cheesy taste that is enhanced by salt and garlic. Nutritional yeast is often available fortified with vitamin B12, so it’s really good ingredient for new vegans to add to your store cupboard. This is the one that we buy (by the caseload I might add!)
You can make vegan pesto with all sorts of green leaves – spinach, coriander, carrot tops, even dandelions. It’s an excellent way of using up surplus greens. What we love about this vegan wild garlic pesto is you’ve already got your garlicky flavour, so it’s even simpler to make!
You can also use all kinds of nuts or seeds to make pesto. Pine nuts are delicious but expensive. We forage them, but they take forever to get out of the pine cones! Good for a rainy day activity when you are stuck in the van, but not when you want to make a batch of pesto in a hurry!
For our vegan wild garlic pesto we used cashew nuts as we had them on hand, and they have a nice balanced flavour that lets the wild garlic shine. We have also used walnuts which works nicely. Sunflower seeds are also a good option to make it cheaper! We encourage you to experiment!
Do I need a blender to make pesto?
We don’t have a food processor or blender in the van, so you will be happy to know that the answer is no! You can make great pesto without a blender, all you need to do is chop or crush everything finely. It really doesn’t take that long, and is worth it for the tasty pesto you get afterwards. If you do have a blender then by all means, blend away!
What can I do with my yummy wild garlic pesto?
Eat it by the spoonful! 🙂 We love our vegan wild garlic pesto spread on a slice of homemade sourdough bread. It goes fantastically in pasta dishes – simple wild garlic pesto spaghetti is always a winner. Add it into lasagne for a flavour boost, or use it make a cold potato salad. There’s so many ways you can use it up, that you’ll be wanting to make another jar in no time!
Try our other wild garlic recipes:
Vegan Wild Garlic Pesto
- 2 cups wild garlic
- 2 tbsp nuts or seeds (cashews, walnuts, sunflower…)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp olive oil
- Wash wild garlic thoroughly, drain well and pat dry with a tea towel
- Lightly toast the nuts in a pan, then chop or crush the nuts finely
- Chop wild garlic finely
- Add the wild garlic and nuts to a bowl, sprinkle on the nutritional yeast and salt. Then pour over the olive oil and mix well.
- Alternatively if you have food processor, simply add all ingredients and blend until it reaches your desired texture.
- Fill into a sterilised jar, or enjoy straight away!
Lots of love,
Sophie and Paul