Tuesday 1 May 2007


Last week, when I was in Valvona's (our local Italian deli) buying a sandwich for lunch, I had a look at the fresh produce and spied some bags of wild garlic leaves, or ransoms. I knew that I wasn't going to get around to much cooking when I saw them - hence the conspicuous lack of any posts - so I left them behind with the intention of heading back for them before the season came to an end. After a bit of online research into what to do with the leaves I went back yesterday and bought two bags, some pine nuts, a new block of parmesan, and a packet of gnocchi ready to make wild garlic pesto to serve with gnocchi. The finished pesto initially smelled like a garlicky freshly mown lawn which is much nicer than it sounds and, when we added it to the gnocchi, the taste of garlic was definitely but subtley there (I say this as a garlic addict so please accept my unreserved apologies if you make this and it blows your head off). I made way too much for just the two of us so am planning pasta with wild garlic pesto for dinner tonight. So, if you see wild garlic leaves in the greengrocer (or know what they look like in the wild) give it a shot. I'll give you the quantities for the amount I made which is enough for at least four servings on pasta or gnocchi with a little leftover for spreading on sandwiches or eating with boiled potatoes.


about 50g of wild garlic leaves (thickest part of the stalks removed)
50g of pine nuts
2 tbsp of grated parmesan
extra virgin olive oil to loosen
salt and pepper to taste

Either finely chop the wild garlic leaves and pine nuts or blitz them in a food processor. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the parmesan before adding enough extra virgin olive oil to loosen the mixture. Taste and season as required before adding to gnocchi.


Linda said...

i adoer gnocchi - this looks wonderful... and with pine nuts! yum!

Kelly-Jane said...

That looks yummy, I've smelled and seen them in the wild and the smell isn't off puting, grassy garlic is a good description.

Anna's kitchen table said...

Looks yummy Gemma!
I love pesto


Freya said...

Well now you're just showing off saying that Valvonas is your local Italian deli - like it isn't the most famous Italian food emporium in the country!! Lucky thing!
Oh and the gnocchi looks stunning!

Gemma said...

Linda - I often forget how much I enjoy gnocchi but this dish really reminded me.

KJ - Do you ever pick the wild garlic? A friend gave us a huge bagful at the weekend so another wild garlic dish is on the agenda for tonight.

Thanks Anna. I love pesto too but I don't remember to make my own often enough.

Freya - I don't buy that much from Valvona's (a little too expensive most of the time) but I rely on them for blocks of pancetta, very good parmesan, and extra special dried pasta, plus the odd treat!

Gemma x