It is spring time. It is the time every year when human organism needs to pump up its immune system to manage the end-of-winter tiredness. This year this necessity is more important than ever.
Wild garlic (this is what it’s called in Europe) or ramps (and that’s what it’s called in Northern America) mostly grow in the forest which is fortunate since you can get two benefits in one: some outdoors activity and access to one of most beneficial seasonal ingredients you should add to your menu immediately.
I love wild garlic in any form. It is delicious as a salad mixed with some crème fraîche and salt, it is equally lovely when added to any other salad as a dressing component, you can add some on boiled potatoes or mix it up in rice. The possibilities are myriad.
One of the wonderful ways to enjoy wild garlic is to whizz it into a bright and zingy pesto. Pesto is one of these lifesaving ingredients that you can use in tons of different ways to make a meal out of next to nothing: pesto pasta, rice with pesto and veggies, green tortilla pizza, toast with pesto&cheese, pesto dip for veggies or crackers to name a few! The recipe below is about how to make ramp pesto or wild garlic pesto but the process is the same if you wish to use other greens.
The health benefits of wild garlic
Wild garlic is a star medicinal plant known (although not necessarily used) throughout Europe. Ramp, its Northern American cousin is a close relative but not exactly the same plant. It aids in digestion, is thought to lower cholesterol and similarly to bulb garlic, it has blood-purifying qualities and acts as a vasodilator meaning it lowers blood-pressure which in turn reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes
The most important quality at the moment is that this food is basically an edible disinfectant! It is simultaneously anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibiotic and antibacterial. Can you get any more anti-illness?! Meaning, if you get your hands on some, take advantage and arm tour body with all this force!
Wild garlic pesto recipe
- A big bunch of wild garlic leaves (about 200 g)
- 100 g cedar nut seeds
- 100 g grated parmesan
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil (more or less depending of the consistency you are aiming for)
- Juice from half a lemon
- Salt and pepper
Put all the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and process until smooth. To get a thicker pesto (to spread on toast for example) add more parmesan or nut seeds, if you wish a thinner pesto (to use as pasta sauce or to add to salad dressings) add more olive oil.
Enjoy the vibrant and fresh taste of spring and give yourself energy and strength in this uncertain period of time.