Wild Garlic and Nettle Pesto

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Eating locally is very important, it’s a lot, lot, lot healthier.  When food travels for miles from different countries it has to be sprayed with preservatives, chemicals and all that kind of stuff.  It’s much better to eat food from your own country.  Do you know what’s even better than that?  Well, it’s to eat and use things that haven’t been farmed or cultivated. It’s called foraging.

These two amazing plants go together very well in a super, duper recipe.  The  recipe is pesto!  This pesto is nutritious because nettles and wild garlic are good for……..

Nettles: contain lots of iron and vitamin C.  Nettles are super foods, good for you in every way. Wild Garlic: helps lower blood pressure.

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Me harvesting nettles

Harvesting the wild garlic

Harvesting the wild garlic

To find these two plants you must go to two different places.  Wild garlic likes to grow near water, in the shade of the woods.  Nettles; these grow in abundance in the hedgerows and around the edges of fields.  The ideal time to harvest these is in Spring. The wild garlic only appears in Spring and nettles are at their prime.  April is the BEST time, so the pesto is perfect to make over the Easter hols and over the rest of the month.

So which bit do you eat? With the nettles, you eat the first few leaves, the middle ones are okay too, but as you start to near the bottom of the stalk, stop picking. Here is where the leaves get too tough.  You can cut the sprigs with scissors or if you’re really brave, with your hands.  If you choose to be a hero, remember to pinch it really hard, so it doesn’t sting you!

Eat the leaves of the wild garlic.

Close up of wild garlic leaves

Close up of wild garlic leaves

Before I give you this yummy, scrummy pesto recipe, I must warn you of the foragers’ foe.  It’s poisonous. It grows in the same place as wild garlic and looks similar.  It’s called ‘lords and ladies’. So, how do you tell the difference between lovely snack and the deadly danger?  Well, wild garlic are slim and light green, their edges are straight. Lords and ladies are wider, darker green and sometimes speckled with purple.  They also have curled edges.  My top tip is not to eat anything you’re not sure about.

Lords & Ladies BEWARE

Lords & Ladies
BEWARE

Now finally, the recipe we’ve all been waiting for, ladies and gentlemen, the sensational Wild Garlic and Nettle Pesto!!!! Please try it and let me know what you thought!!!

INGREDIENTS

Wild Garlic

Nettles

Cashew Nuts

Olive or Rapeseed Oil

Salt and Pepper

METHOD

1. Go and forage a bag of wild garlic and a colander of nettles.  You can’t be exact with the quantities, so just get roughly double the amount of garlic than of nettles.

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Making pesto is fun "Give Us A Kiss"

Making pesto is fun
“Give Us A Kiss”

2. Take them home and wash them well.  Then take the nettle leaves off of the stalks and put in a blender. Blend until mashed. Scoop out and put in a large bowl. Then do the wild garlic to the same consistency.  This may take a couple of loads. Put it in the bowl with the nettles.

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3. Whizz up a couple of handfuls of cashew nuts in the blender and add to the bowl.

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4. Mix up. Then put a bit at a time back into the blender until it’s all in the blender. Add salt and pepper and a generous glug of oil.

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5. Put in a bowl to eat straight away or store in a jar to keep for later. Top up the jar with olive oil.

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6. ENJOY IN LOTS OF DIFFERENT WAYS

Eat with delicious WOWO bread

Eat with delicious bread

Share with a friend

Share with a friend

Enjoy with your dinner

Enjoy with your dinner

Give it as a gift

Give it as a gift

Quinoa – No Prob

I’ve just made an exciting new discovery, you can now buy quinoa that has been home grown here in the UK.

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You might think “Why is that so amazing?”  Well, I’m here to tell you.

Of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content, so it’s perfect for, and popular among, vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain,  and is almost always organic.

You will be interested to know that quinoa was a staple food for thousands of years in the Andes region of South America as one of just a few crops the ancient Incas cultivated at such high altitude. As such, quinoa is generally agreed to be an ancient grain that is, it is cultivated the same way now that is was millennia ago.

When the Spanish conquered South America, they considered the grain to be food for peasants and animals. They forced them to grow wheat and other grasses.  Recently people realised how good quinoa is for you, they bought loads of it off of the South Americans. It has gone from being food for peasants to being a really expensive super food. Now the people of South America can’t even afford their own staple food. The sad thing is half of them don’t even want to, now they get the opportunity they want to eat western food.

It’s wrong, me and my family decided to stop eating it, but now we’ve discovered British quinoa, well, they’ll be no stopping us.

Now you have an important dicision to make, pay slightly more for British quinoa or keep on buying South American quinoa for less? Let me know what you think.

If your choice is British then you can buy it at Infinity Foods Brighton or online at: http://hodmedods.co.uk/product-category/dried-pulses/quinoa

I’m going to have some for dinner tonight, I’ll let you know what it’s like. If you try it let me know what you make and if it was good.