Bear's Garlic Pesto




About: I love making things! I have a lot of ideas but I don't have time to realize all of them. I am normally too curious to see how my ideas will look like so I don't spend too much time on planning in advance. I...
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

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

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

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.



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    13 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Nice idea!

    I do want to warn that 'Bear's Garlic plants (a European species) resemble some other but poisonous plants, such as Lily of the Valley. .. and there are others, too.

    Be sure of what yu pick!!!! Check with people who are knowledgeable !!


    6 years ago on Step 3

    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.

    2 replies

    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


    Reply 5 years ago on Step 3

    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!)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Mmmmmmhhh! Remember that from Europe - very nice stuff but potent. Gruäss de Bär u d'pfrou.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    In the UK it is called wild garlic or ramsons. Easy to find in damp areas and identified by the smell.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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 :).


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    thank you for the latin name! it's a close relative of ramps! =) thanks again for the nice recipe!!