Wild garlic and roasted hazelnut pesto

Is this really a pesto? I'm not sure. It doesn't have any cheese in it, but you could always add some, so let's stick with the term pesto. Wild garlic is one of those ingredients that everyone gets excited about when it comes into season as it hangs out in gloomy forests with the spring bluebells so feels incredibly English and romantic, but frankly, it's not all that versatile when it comes to cooking with it. It tends to bully the other ingredients it's used with so you need to allow it be the star of the dish or pair it with low-key characters. One of the easiest ways to harness its flavour is to bash it into a pesto and eat it with veg such as asparagus, broccoli or potatoes.

Wild garlic and roasted hazelnut pesto

A big handful of roasted hazelnuts
A big handful of wild garlic leaves
A squeeze of lemon
200ml olive oil

Place the hazelnuts in a pestle and mortar and bash until coarsely ground. Roughly chop the garlic leaves then add them gradually to the mortar, smashing and crushing them until you have a smoothish paste. Squeeze in the lemon, then very slowly stir in the oil in a slow and steady stream. Season with a little salt and pepper, then spoon over boiled, roast or grilled vegetables, white fish, pork chops or roast chicken. Add Parmesan to make into a pasta sauce. Beware as the garlic leaves only get punchier in the following days! 

Wild garlic and roasted hazelnut pesto
Wild garlic and roasted hazelnut pesto

Wild garlic and roasted hazelnut pesto