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Wild garlic pesto

Wild garlic pesto

A rather unique spin on the pesto recipe that we know and love, using wild garlic as a key player instead of the traditional basil. For a completely traditional Pesto Genovese, substitute basil for wild garlic and add a single clove of raw garlic to the mix.
Course Condiment
Cuisine Nordic
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Author Johan Johansen


  • 3-4 large handfuls of freshly picked wild garlic leaves thoroughly cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 50 grams of pine nuts
  • 50 grams of Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • A good splash of canola oil


  1. Put a cold, dry pan over low heat and add pine nuts.
  2. Warm pine nuts through, tossing regularly until fragrant and lightly browned, then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Add a handful of wild garlic leaves to the mortar along with a sprinkle of coarse salt.
  4. Start grinding with the pestle, slowly adding more leaves as they start to tear and turn to mush.
  5. When leaves are thoroughly mushed, add in the pine nuts and continue to mush away until well smashed and integrated.
  6. Put away pestle and stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  7. Still stirring, add in enough oil to achieve a thick, saucy consistency.
  8. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Eat immediately or store in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

When making pesto, I like to only lightly toast the pine nuts instead of waiting for them to turn golden brown. This makes for a less toasty, but more creamy and nutty pesto.