wild food, wild garlic pesto

WILD GARLIC PESTO WITH HOMEMADE FOCACCIA

wildgarlicpesto

We like our pestos full of punchy flavour. A bunch of limp, old imported leaves from the supermarket and a smattering of cheap oil doesn’t cut it for us. It has to be packed with fresh (preferably wild or home-grown) leaves and good quality ingredients.

This pesto ticks all those boxes. It’s pleasantly potent, rich with wild spring goodness, and perfectly paired with homemade focaccia.

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE PESTO

50g wild garlic leaves (shredded)
10g chopped cobnuts (slightly toasted in oven)
lemon juice (add to taste)
organic rapeseed or olive oil (add to taste)
grated hard goats cheese (add to taste)
salt & pepper to taste

FOR THE FOCACCIA

500g strong white bread flour
20g coarse semolina
15g fresh yeast
10g salt
50ml rapeseed oil (or good olive oil)
320ml tepid water
Extra oil
Course sea salt

METHOD

FOR THE PESTO

Put the wild garlic and cobnuts into a food processor and ‘blitz’ until roughly chopped.

Next drizzle in the oil, the grated goats cheese and lemon juice. Season with salt & pepper. Use your senses to find out which amounts suit your palette.

FOR THE FOCACCIA

Preheat your oven to 220C.

Combine the flour with the semolina in a bowl, then rub the yeast into the mixture. Add the salt, oil and water and mix. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until you have a soft smooth dough (if you are using a mixer, attach the dough hook and knead for 10 minutes on the slowest setting). Shape the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a plastic bag in a warm place for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Carefully turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled baking tray and start to gently push and stretch the dough outwards until it’s roughly 20mm thick, being careful not to rip as you do so. Cover loosely with film and leave to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Once rested, use your finger to poke dimples all over dough, then drizzle with oil and sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, or until the focaccia has a light golden colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

TO SERVE

Dollop the pesto onto the focaccia and serve immediately.

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