Cabbage, Wild Garlic and Walnut Pesto

Use this anywhere you would use regular basil pesto: swirled through soups or pasta; dotted into a sandwich, baked potato or pizza; mixed through mashed potato or shaken into salad dressing. For a beautifully simple tart, spread the pesto across thinly rolled puff pastry leaving a 2cm border round the edge, then pile roast vegetables over the pesto. Dot with feta, cheddar, mozzarella or goat’s cheese and bake until the pastry is puffed up and golden.

Bear in mind that wild garlic pesto becomes less pungent when heated – adjust quantities according to your dish.

Walnuts are a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to the pine nuts traditional to pesto. You could use any nut instead though – hazelnuts would be delicious. Similarly, any hard salty cheese will work in place of Parmesan.

When wild garlic is out of season you could substitute 1 garlic clove (or to taste) and increase the quantity of cabbage.

This will keep in the fridge for a week, or in the freezer for six months.

Makes 2 medium jars

Ingredients

100g green, Chinese or savoy cabbage
100g wild garlic (a good fistful), thoroughly washed and dried.
A small bunch of fresh parsley
75g walnuts, toasted
75g Parmesan cheese, or vegetarian alternative
150ml extra virgin olive oil (or a mix of extra virgin and refined, but make it at least half extra virgin, it makes a big difference)
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
Salt & cracked black pepper

Method

Thickly shred the cabbage and steam until just tender, then quickly cool by plunging into cold water and shake or pat dry.

Put the steamed, cold cabbage into a food processor with the wild garlic and blitz until finely shredded. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth – adjust the quantities of oil, lemon juice and Parmesan to your preference.