Easy Wild Garlic Pesto

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Making pesto at home is so easy. You only need a few ingredients to make this delicious high-fat dip!

What I love most about pesto is how versatile it is — it works with any herbs, nuts and seeds and there are plenty more pesto recipes here. Most recipes use basil but this one is made with fragrant wild garlic, also known as bear garlic, ramsons or ramps. Wild garlic is in season between March and June so check it out before it's gone!

It's delicious. The scent and flavour are somewhere between garlic, chives and spring onion. It tastes great with pretty much anything, especially salmon, pork and in salads.

You can use any nuts or seeds although I made this wild garlic pesto dairy-free and nut-free (pine "nuts" are technically seeds). Macadamias, blanched almonds, walnuts and cashews are all healthy options. If you can eat dairy, you can add 2 to 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese or add a tablespoon or two of nutritional yeast for a similar effect. Apart from extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or walnut oil work well too.

How to use pesto?

Just like fresh herbs, using wild garlic in pesto is a great way to preserve its delicate flavour and add healthy fats to any keto recipe. I make pesto every couple of weeks as part of my meal prep routine. Apart using it to make pesto, chopped wild garlic leaves and stems are amazing in salads, omelettes and dips. I often use pesto to marinate raw and cooked meat and fish.

How long does pesto last?

You can keep your pesto in the fridge for up to two weeks if it's stored properly. It helps to pour a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil on top, as it keeps it fresh for longer.

If you want to preserve homemade pesto for up to 6 months, freeze it in manageable portion sizes by putting it in an ice-cube tray and keep in a plastic bag in the freezer. Whenever you need to use it, just defrost the required portion, or add directly to a hot dish.

A word of caution: If you pick your own wild garlic rather than buying it in a grocery store,  make sure you actually use wild garlic as it is sometimes confused with Arum Lily. The difference is that Arum Lily is poisonous! Luckily, they are easy to tell apart as the shape of the leaves is different and the unmistakeable scent of wild garlic is hard to miss.

Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per tbsp, 15 g/ 0.5 oz)

Net carbs0.5 grams
Protein0.7 grams
Fat7.5 grams
Calories71 kcal

Calories from carbs 3%, protein 4%, fat 93%

Total carbs0.8 gramsFiber0.3 gramsSugars0.1 gramsSaturated fat0.9 gramsSodium62 mg(3% RDA)Magnesium11 mg(3% RDA)Potassium56 mg(3% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 1 1/4 cups/ 290 g/ 10 oz)

  • large bunch of wild garlic leaves (100 g/ 3.5 oz)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (34 g/ 1.2 oz)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (35 g/ 1.2 oz)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (15 ml)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (120 ml/ 4 fl oz)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash the wild garlic.
    Easy Wild Garlic Pesto
  2. Place the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a food processor or a blender. Pulse until smooth for just a few seconds. Easy Wild Garlic Pesto
  3. Add the pine nuts and sunflower seeds.
    Easy Wild Garlic Pesto
  4. Pulse again until smooth or chunky (I like to keep mine a little chunky).
    Easy Wild Garlic Pesto
  5. When done, use immediately or spoon the mixture in a glass jar, top with a bit of olive oil and seal with a lid. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Easy Wild Garlic Pesto

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per tbsp, 15 g/ 0.5 oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Wild garlic
0.1 g0.2 g0 g1 kcal
Pine nuts
0.2 g0.2 g1.2 g11 kcal
Sunflower seeds
0.2 g0.4 g0.9 g10 kcal
Lemon juice, fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g5.4 g48 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Total per tbsp, 15 g/ 0.5 oz
0.5 g0.7 g7.5 g71 kcal
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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (2)

Apparently “wild garlic” is what we in the US call “ramps”. (allium tricoccum) That’s what google told me. I highly recommend ramps! I can get them in some specialty grocery stores or at the farmer’s market until about … now!

Reply

Thank you John! I'll add a note, good to know!

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