These are very adaptable recipies, youcan mix wild and garden leaves such as Nettles,Ramson garlic,Tri cornered Leeks,Ground elder and garden Parsley and Rocket.Also you might like to use one of our own excellent Irish Rapeseed oils rather than olive oil. Nuts can be almonds,cashews,walnuts, pinenuts or even monkey puzzel seeds which are very tasty. Cheese in pesto introduces a dairy element and if this does not suit you (or if you simply have none to hand) it is not essential. I use Mossfield organic mature cheese when I can but good cheddar or parmesan or percerino work well also. In fact you can adjust to suit your own taste and whats available, recipies are for approximate amounts and to get you started. Nettles are so nutritious at this time of year and the Three cornered leek and Ramsons garlic are a big hit with everyone.
Nettle and parsley pesto.
500mls of young nettle tops (loosely packed into measuring jug.)
500mls fresh parsley.
300mls rapeseed or olive oil.plus extra for topping up.
100grms chopped nuts. (walnuts, or cashews or pinenuts or a mix.)
100grms grated mature cheese.
3 cloves garlic roughly chopped.
Juice of 3 lemons. (if organic, use zest also)
I find it best to snip nettles with scissors first then blend the leaves and oil together to a paste, add garlic and pulse again till blended.Add nuts and cheese, pulse again. Taste and season with salt (if needed) and lemon juice, zest. Put into jars leaving a little space to top up. Cover pesto with a layer of oil to improve keeping,(if your pesto is completely covered with film of oil it will keep very well). Ideally store in fridge but will also keep in cool dry place. freezes well.
Ramsons Wild Garlic pesto
1litre garlic leaves.
300mls oil, plus extra for topping up.
100grms chopped nuts.
100grms parmesan or mature cheese.
salt to taste.
optional, zest and juice of 2organic lemons.
First snip garlic leaves with scissors, this prevents long strands becoming tangled in blades of your blender.Process leaves and garlic in oil. Add nuts and process to incorporate, then cheese, depending on whether you use cheese and how salty it is you may not need salt. pot into small jars and top up with layer of oil as in Nettle recipe. I sometimes find the pesto rather overpowering especially if made from the earliest leaves so I tend to tone it down a little with a mix of other leaves, perhaps something from the garden like fresh parsley, rocket or even ground-elder or other wild greens.