Wild Garlic Pesto

Heidrun Kubart
by Heidrun Kubart
1 bowl
10 min

Spring time is wild garlic time! From around mid-March, the delicious greens are waiting to be picked. Every season I like to make an intense green vegan wild garlic pesto out of it, without cheese/parmesan, but with tons of fresh wild garlic and also with olive oil, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, and parsley. In any case, making wild garlic pesto yourself is worth it, because it tastes too good, is easy, quick to make, and goes well with a range of dishes, not just spaghetti. In this post, I will therefore also talk about the use of wild garlic pesto and show you a number of options what you can eat with it.

A bowl of homemade vegan wild garlic pesto

Various uses of wild garlic pesto

The taste of wild garlic is spicy and aromatic. Being wild garlic, it also has a very garlic-like flavor. Especially if it is eaten raw, as with wild garlic pesto, you should not plan a date afterward. Unless you both eat from it.

I like to eat this vegan wild garlic pesto with spaghetti, tagliatelle or linguine – as a pasta addict, I definitely like to eat it with noodles. In addition to being used for spring pasta, wild garlic pesto also goes wonderfully with a variety of other dishes.

Spaghetti with vegan wild garlic pesto

You can use wild garlic pesto like a dip and add falafel or potato pancakes. Also together with vegan feta and tomatoes, or a dollop on top of Hummus (or even mix it in at the same time) or on a bowl, fit perfectly.

You can also easily eat wild garlic pesto with boiled potatoes, oven vegetables or asparagus, or as a spread in a sandwich. Wild garlic pesto can also be baked in bread, for example in a flatbread or on focaccia – nom! I plan to bake puff pastry snails with wild garlic pesto for the first time, it has to taste so good.

As you can see, wild garlic pesto goes well with so many dishes. If you have another idea, feel free to add it in the comments!

A variation of spaghetti with vegan wild garlic pesto, namely with tomatoes and homemade vegan feta

Wild garlic with wild garlic and …

This vegan wild garlic pesto is quite compact, because there is a lot of wild garlic in here. So it’s not “thin and oily” like it’s often the case with pesto. This is intentional in this case because that’s how I like it best. I like the intense taste of wild garlic, but I don’t want to completely drown the food in oil.

What else is in the vegan wild garlic pesto, apart from a lot of wild garlic? In any case, vegan wild garlic pesto is not made that much differently than non-vegan. The only difference is in the cheese, because if you prepare wild garlic pesto vegan, of course, no parmesan goes into it.

A bowl of homemade vegan wild garlic pesto
A bowl of homemade vegan wild garlic pesto

You will find a number of other good ingredients in this vegan wild garlic pesto, in addition to lots of wild garlic. Oil, olive oil to be precise. You can also replace part of it with pumpkin seed oil, but please do not heat your pesto afterward.

Sunflower seeds and pine nuts are also added to the pesto. You are also welcome to use other nuts such as walnuts or other seeds such as pumpkin seeds. Cashews or almonds would be another option, but I haven’t tried it myself.

Finally, nutritional yeast, and parsley. I think that it gives the wild garlic pesto freshness and rounds off the very intense taste. Oh yes, and salt and pepper, of course.

Picking wild garlic with my little one at the Viennese Augarten, in March 2023

Fresh & Free

Since I prefer to use lots of wild garlic, and it grows in large quantities, at least here in Vienna, I always pick it myself. It starts in March and by April it’s slowly over.

The best thing: these huge amounts of wild garlic are a hundred times fresher than from the supermarket, but they don’t cost me a cent. In Vienna, picking wild garlic is almost a national sport. You can usually find me at Augarten. But there is also growing a lot at Prater. Or recently I discovered tons in the Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark.

Harvesting wild garlic is very easy: “pinch off” the leaves with your fingernail and, ideally, collect it in a cloth sack to take home. At least I wash it at home before I put it to further use. And that brings me to the next final point…

Wild Garlic Pesto Vegan Recipe - plantbasedredhead.com

Shelf life of wild garlic pesto

Normally, when making pesto from herbs, they need to be dry, the pesto covered with plenty of oil, and the jar needs to be “sterile” (not surgical-style, but spotless). However, I have never stored a pesto for longer than a few days, simply in a Tupperware box or something similar.

Since I wash the wild garlic from the park anyway, the storage option in the form is out of the question for that reason alone. But it is possible to freeze the wild garlic pesto, namely in ice cube molds. The whole thing is super practical for dosing, similar to the frozen “Spinach Zwutschgerln”. By freezing, you can overwinter your wild garlic pesto until next spring.

But that’s not an option for me either, because I always eat so much wild garlic within a very short time that I don’t want to see it for months anyway, hahaha. I hope that you will love this pesto too, and I wish you bon appétit.

A bowl of homemade vegan wild garlic pesto

Did you try this recipe?

I would love to see the result – and share it. So please do not forget to tag me on Instagram: @plantbased.redhead.cooks

icon Instagram IconFurthermore, I am also looking forward to your comment, no matter if you want to tell me how good it was, or if you have some suggestions or questions.

icon Instagram Icon

Recipe details
  • 1  bowl
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 10 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 4 hands of wild garlic
  • 1 hand of parsley (some of the stalks can be included)
  • 8 tbsp olive oil (a little more if you like)
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper

Roast the sunflower seeds and pine nuts in a pan without oil until they turn light brown. Leave to cool on a plate.
Wash the wild garlic. Spread out a tea towel, place the wild garlic on top, and pat dry with another tea towel.
Now chop the roasted sunflower and pine nuts with the wild garlic and all the other ingredients (parsley, yeast flakes, salt, and pepper) in the food processor and mix.
Slowly add the oil through the designated opening in the food processor. My Kitchenaid Food Processor has something like that. Otherwise, just add it to the other ingredients.
  • Depending on how intense you like pesto, you could get by with it longer. I use this amount for about 500 grams of pasta - that's quite generous.
  • If you want, you can increase the amount of oil a bit and also replace part of the olive oil with pumpkin seed oil.
  • Instead of sunflower seeds and pine nuts, you can use any other nuts, especially walnuts.
Heidrun Kubart
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • Joan (marcie) Joan (marcie) on Apr 17, 2023

    I have not seen wild garlic here on Cape Cod, but would love to! I did plant some garlic chives last summer and they are already 8" high; I would guess that this would also make a good pesto...so will try. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Heidrun Kubart Heidrun Kubart on Apr 23, 2023

      I didn't know Cape Cod and just had a look at it on Google. Beautiful! But it doesn't look like a Wild Garlic area, which is more in forests (or in Vienna in parks with many trees). Not sure about the chives you talk about, but: never try never know. ;-)

  • Ratamperry Ratamperry on Apr 17, 2023

    What are you talking about ... 1 hand of parsley? Why can't you people speak/write in language the normal person can understand?

    • See 1 previous
    • Heidrun Kubart Heidrun Kubart on Apr 23, 2023

      I think I spoke in a language normal people can understand. At least everyone understands it except one. ;-)