Plant tour Tuesdays… Hedge garlic pesto!

As part of Chilypeppers ‘social distancing schedule’ we are taking you on a plant tour this Tuesday exploring herbs and plants you can forage and cook with! Check out our facebook and Instagram for videos, recipes and more!

Jack by the hedge/ hedge garlic pesto

This plant is everywhere on our walks at the moment! Often referred to as ‘hedge garlic’ or ‘jack by the hedge’ you can easily spot it within hedgerows, woodlands, shady spots and pathways.

There’s tons you can use this garlic flavoured plant for; from using the leaves in salads, to drawing out the garlic infused flavour for sauces and making your own hedge garlic pesto.

When picking wild herbs and plants make sure you know what you are picking. Hedge garlic is usually quite easy to spot. I’d avoid the hedge garlic growing by the road or path edges due to possibly having been weed on by dogs (such as ours!). Instead look for hedge garlic in areas that might not have been as ventured into, such as that up high or off the path.

For cooking with they do say hedge garlic is better before it gets its white flowers, as once it flowers it can turn a bit more bitter. Picking it at this time of year it has already flowered so just pick the smaller leaves towards the top of the plant.

Hedge garlic pesto recipe

1/2 cup of pine nuts/ sunflower seeds (or another nut seed of your choice!)
1 cup hedge garlic leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Olive oil

Wash hedge garlic, pat dry and put into a jug/bowl, add pine nuts/seeds (you can toast/roast these before if you want to add some more flavour), lemon juice and a good helping of olive oil. Place in blender or use a stick blender to blend ingredients together. Add more olive oil if needed to get the consistency you want. Season with salt and pepper, or even chilli flakes if you fancy some spice!

Transfer into a jar and store in the fridge. Best eaten within 2 weeks. Goes great with pasta, on a sandwich or even as a dip for some roasted veg!

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