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Wild garlic, pine nuts, oil and parmasan cheese spread on chopping board

Ramsons also known as Wild Garlic, Wood Garlic and Broadleaf Garlic (Allium ursinum) have distinctive star-like white flowers and strong garlic smell. It is illegal to uproot any wild plant, but the edible leaves and flowers can be gently picked and eaten raw or added to any dish to give a sweet punch of garlic.

There are a couple of similar looking poisonous leaves out at the same time that you don't want to pick in error. For example Cuckoo Pint (Lords and Ladies, Arum maculatum), Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) and Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) grow in the same environment as Wild Garlic and are NOT edible.

Remember to check the identity of EVERY leaf as you pick and only take what you need! Only pick the leaves and flowers considerately, leaving the bulb in place and picking sparingly from multiple places.

If you don't have access to any Wild Garlic, a great substitute is Three-cornered Leek or Wild Onion (Allium triquetrum), identified by its triangular flower stalk and drooping white bell flowers. Three-cornered Leek has a sweet garlicy, oniony taste and all parts are edible! An added bonus is you don't need to feel guilty uprooting bulbs of this non-native, invasive plant which germinates and spreads rapidly.

Remember to ensure you have the landowner's permission before you forage, and only take the minimum for your requirements. Always check, check and double check you have correctly identified a leaf as edible!


  • Approximately 200g (or large handful) of Wild Garlic

  • 50g Parmesan or other hard cheese finely grated

  • 50g pine nuts (or any other nut or seed of your choice!)

  • 1/2 lemon or lemon juice

  • 100ml oil of your choice


Wash and roughly chop the wild garlic leaves.

Mix the parmesan, pine nuts and lemon juice with the leaves, then blend or blitz, gradually adding the oil and some salt/ pepper if you wish, until the paste is your desired consistency.

Transfer your finshed pesto into a clean, air tight container(s). Your Wild Garlic pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or frozen in batches ready to add a wild kick to any meal.

Bright green, blended wild garlic pesto


If you'd like to discover more of nature's harvest, why not join one of our wild food and forage day workshops which run in Spring and Autumn.

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