The pungent leaves of wild garlic can be eaten raw or cooked and added to pasta, tarts, salads, sandwiches or soups. Leaves appear in March and the flowers tend to emerge from April to June. Both are edible and can add a potent garlic punch to salads and sandwiches.

The plant, native to Britain, is also known as Bear leek, Bear's garlic, Broad-leaved garlic, Buckrams, Ramsons, Wood garlic and can grow to heights of between 45 and 50 cm. It is easily identified thanks to its long and pointed oval and smooth leaves.

Wild garlic growing wild
Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) growing wild/Credit: Getty Images

See our wild garlic guide for more information on foraging responsibly and other facts.

Turn your foraged finds into a delicious, vibrant pesto to enjoy this spring. This recipe is vegetarian but can easily be made vegan by switching out the dairy cheese for a vegan alternative. This recipe can also be used to make nettle pesto or carrot top pesto.

What to do with wild garlic pesto

Wild garlic pesto can be added to freshly cooked pasta, salads, soups or as a dip.

How to make wild garlic pesto


  • 200g Wild garlic leaves, washed
  • 50g parmesan or vegetarian/vegan hard cheese, grated
  • 1 Garlic clove, diced or finely chopped
  • 1 Lemon juice
  • 50g Pine nuts or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • 100ml Extra virgin olive oil Rapeseed oil can also be use
  • A pinch of coarse sea salt
  • A pinch of pepper


  • STEP 1
    Basket filled with wild garlic, Getty
    Only pick as much wild garlic as you need/Credit: Getty Images

    Wash the wild garlic leaves carefully to remove any soil or dirt. Dry and roughly chop or tear the leaves.

  • STEP 2

    Using a food processor, blitz the wild garlic, garlic clove, hard cheese, pine nuts while slowly adding the olive oil and lemon juice until it become a smooth paste. Taste and add the salt and pepper to season. You may wish to add a little more lemon or olive oil.

  • STEP 3

    How long does wild garlic pesto keep?

    The pesto can be used straightaway or stored in a sealed glass jar or plastic box and kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.

    Another handy way to store wild garlic pesto is to freeze in an ice cube tray and each cube can be added to dishes.