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How to forage wild garlic and make wild garlic pesto

Spring is almost upon us! This means that the smell of garlic will also soon be in the air. Wild garlic or ramsons, as they are also known, can be found in almost all woodlands. Look for it on damp soil and slopes.

When they're around, often in great carpets, they are difficult to miss. The smell is unmistakable so using their scent is the best way to find them.

If you are out foraging for wild garlic follow these simple tips

  • ramsons in wood
    Always follow our sustainable foraging guidelines
  • Wild garlic is most commonly found from March to July
  • Carefully pick the leaves from close to the ground being careful to leave the bulbs in the soil for next year
  • Pick healthy leaves that are long and bright in colour!
  • Try and pick the leaves from an area that’s less likely to have been trampled
  • The best way to check that what you’ve picked is wild garlic is to crush the leaves in your palm and take a good sniff. If it smells like garlic, then you’ve picked the right plant
  • See our top tips on identifying wild garlic

Then once you’ve got your delicious wild garlic, it’s time to make something with it! There are lots of recipes for wild garlic but my favourite thing to make is pesto. Here is a great and simple recipe for wild garlic pesto!

How to make wild garlic pesto


  • 100g wild garlic leaves
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 50g toasted pine nuts
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt and Pepper


  1. Wash wild garlic leaves thoroughly.
  2. Place the leaves, parmesan, olive oil and nuts into a food processor and blitz. You could also do this with a pestle and mortar if you want to be more traditional.
  3. Add further oil if you wish to have a thinner texture and mix.
  4. Add in your salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Wild garlic pesto is fantastic mixed with fresh pasta for a simple dish but its great on its own for dipping your favourite nibbles into.

If you're interested in things to do in the woods, foraging and other recipes, take a look at our foraging page