Bear's Garlic Pesto

Picture of Bear's Garlic Pesto
Spring is the best time to collect bear's garlic in the forest and make a yummy pesto out of it. For 6 jars of pesto you will need the following:
  • a big bowl (diameter approx. 35 cm / 14 inches) full of bear's garlic leafs
  • 500 ml / approx. 2.5 cups of olive oil 
  • 0.5 kg / approx. 1 pound of grated parmesan cheese
  • approx. 30 Almonds
  • Salt
Instead of almonds, you can also take pine nuts, but i prefer almonds, since they make the whole paste not so "heavy". To mix everything you only need a hand blender.
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Step 1: Pluck enough bear's garlic

Picture of Pluck enough bear's garlic
Go to the forest and collect a lot of bear's garlic. I took a dog poo bag (a new one :)) and stuffed as much leafs as i could inside. Make sure you take enough! If you have too much, you can still use the leftover bear's garlic for 
  • bear's garlic bread with bacon
  • bear's garlic mashed potatoes
  • bear's garlic risotto
it all tastes awesome! Wash the leafs well with water, and make at least 5 piles. 

Step 2: Mixing in steps

Picture of Mixing in steps
Take a hand blender and blend each leaf pile with the grinded parmesan cheese and olive oil. Make sure you take enough olive oil! If its too little, the blender will get stuck and burn through :). The same will happen, if you try to mix all of the leafs and the cheese together :). It's better if you dont blend the leafs for too long, because its said they become bitter after a while. I don't know if that's true, but to be on the safe side...

Step 3: Almonds, salt and finishing up

Picture of Almonds, salt and finishing up
When all the leafs are mixed, you can "reunite" the 5 portions. Then, blend the almonds and add them to the paste. Take a spoon to stir it and distribute the almonds. Now add salt. It needs quite a lot of salt, so don't worry if you put much more than a table spoon in the paste. To keep the pesto as long as possible, put it into small jars. 

When you filled the jars, make sure you cover the pesto with a lot of olive oil, that way you prevent the pesto from oxidation with the surrounding air. Close the jars, make nice name tags and bring it for your next house warming party! You can eat the pesto with spaghetti or any other type of pasta. I also like to put it into a nice tomato mozarella sandwich or just as a spread onto little toast breads as appetizers...

WARNING: The pesto leaves a very strong garlic taste in your mouth, so if you plan to have an important meeting the next day, postpone your bear's garlic spaghetti.
Looks great! I know a field with loads of this stuff - I believe it's also called 'ransoms'.
One question: How long can you keep it? Will it freeze?
Many thanks - I look forward to making it.
Nozebra (author)  duncangallimore2 years ago
Thank you! I kept it for one month at it was still fine. After 6 weeks it tasted a little less fresh, more like the pesto one can buy in the store. I did not try freezing it, but it sounds like a cool idea. But just don't heat it after freezing, otherwise the cheese inside starts melting and it becomes a huge "clot" of pesto :). Tell m!e once you tried freezing it
I missed them this year - hadn't realised the season was so early. Will try next year instead. Thanks for your replay (know it was a while ago now!)
sitearm2 years ago
Tweeted; Ty!
syndrussom2 years ago
you could probably can the jars and they would keep longer.
etearth2 years ago
Sehr gut!
TheManse2 years ago
Mmmmmmhhh! Remember that from Europe - very nice stuff but potent. Gruäss de Bär u d'pfrou.
Mindmapper12 years ago
In the UK it is called wild garlic or ramsons. Easy to find in damp areas and identified by the smell.
Nozebra (author)  Mindmapper12 years ago
Yeah exactly, the smell is quite strong, but in a good way :).
beautiful! i wonder if 'bear's garlic' is what we call ramps here in US... i'm going to try that, thank you!
Nozebra (author)  blissful20152 years ago
Thank you! I am not sure, but I don't think so... I used a translator and it said "bear's garlic". Wikipedia means: "Allium ursinum – known as ramsons, buckrams, wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek or bear's garlic"... hope that helps :).
thank you for the latin name! it's a close relative of ramps! =) thanks again for the nice recipe!!