Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wild garlic pesto aka ramson pesto recipe

Wild garlic pesto / Ramson pesto / Karulaugupesto
(From the recipe archives - originally posted in April 2011. Three years on, this is still my favourite way of preparing wild garlic pesto. You can use either ramson or ramps).

Wild garlic has arrived! Wild garlic, also known as ramson or bear's garlic (Allium ursinum, 'karulauk' in Estonian), is a very close relative to the wild leek aka ramp (Allium tricoccum, 'grislilauk' in Estonian). I've been eagerly waiting for this spring green, as I love both the flavour and the versatily of it, and it's a good health-booster at this time of the year. Well, if it's good enough for big brown bears, it's good enough for us :D

Although I've been happily making a wild garlic pesto with pinenuts for a few years now, this one is a new favourite. There's more flavour, and somehow it's much more gutsier than the 'regular' wild garlic pesto. The idea to use almonds instead of pinenuts in a wild garlic pesto is from a German food magazine. I've upped the amount of almonds and cheese, and used regular almonds instead of blanched.

Let me tell you - this was a huge hit at my recent birthday brunch, where the guests were spreading it on thin slices of ciabatta. I'm heading to my secret wild garlic field later today, just so I could make this one again :)

You could definitely try this with ramps or even with garlic scapes. If you love garlic, you'll love this, I promise!

Other recipes using wild garlic/ramson @ Nami-Nami:
Wild garlic tzatziki
Wild garlic and potato mash
Wild garlic butter
Wild garlic pesto (with pinenuts)
Stuffed tomatoes with wild garlic salad

Wild garlic pesto / Ramson pesto
(Karulaugupesto mandlitega)
Makes about 200 ml

Wild garlic pesto / Ramson pesto / Karulaugupesto

a good bunch of wild garlic (about 125 g), rinsed and drained
50 g Parmesan cheese, roughly chopped
50 g whole almonds
75 ml (5 Tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place almonds and cheese into a food processor and blitz into fine crumbs. Add wild garlic, process again until you've got a coarse pesto. Now add the oil little by little, with the machine still running.
Season with salt and pepper.

If you want to keep your pesto for a few weeks, then place into cool sterilised jars and pour a layer of olive oil on top. Keep in the fridge.


kellie@foodtoglow said...

Weirdly I posted a wild garlic pesto ristotto recipe with almonds last Saturday. We loved it so much that I reprised it in a aubergine parmigiana for yesterday's post. Great minds think alike! Almonds cheaper and tastier in my opinion. WG season almost over here in Scotland but I've got a stash in the freezer. Bet you do too. Prefer wild garlic pesto to basil pesto now.

L Vanel said...

Oh wow, that looks delicious. I have got to make some of that.

Aija Abens said...

Love your site. Trust an Estonian to beat a Latvian to the punch, e.g. creating a food blog about the fantastic food available in this part of the world.
My husband and I are also foodies and are in wild garlic heaven (lakši in Latvian). They're protected here - foraging not really allowed, but there are cultivated fields of this stuff and lots show up in the Riga central market. We also make pesto, but no nuts or cheese, just olive oil and course salt. It keeps forever and we add it to all kinds of stuff (a trick an Italian taught me when we lived in Toronto). Spring time is marvelous for picking edible plants in the country. Couldn't have done that in N-America!

Pille said...

Kellie - glad to "meet" another almond-pesto lover :)

Lucy - as I said, this is my favourite way of making wild garlic pesto these days!

Aija - great to know the Latvian name for this great herb! And they're protected here, too, grade 3. Personal use is ok, but not allowed to sell the wild stuff. However, I am pretty sure most of the stuff at the markets is from the forests and not from the personal gardens...

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) said...

I can practically smell it from here and I'm pretty sure I drooled a little when you mentioned it being smeared on ciabatta.

David said...

I add fresh ginger when I make it, and this helps to prevent it from spoiling since mold does not like ginger. But most of it goes in small jars in the freezer, and then you have it all year. Plus lemon juice.

Just made about 6 kg of it last night with Parmigiano Reggiano and Italian pine nuts!

Mommie Michie said...

I just made some three cornered leek pesto and used a mixture of brazil nuts and pine nuts. It tastes amazing!

I am a gardener and have spent the last two days pulling up the 'weed' from my clients garden.