Wild Garlic Pesto


This recipe was originally published in April 2020, and was contributed by Louise Conn who was a distillery host and ambassador on Islay.  Originally from Glasgow, she had first had wild garlic pesto at the hands of Mark Williams @markwildfood of Galloway Wild Foods when they were out and about on the island with bartender guests of the distillery. She believes in using flavour to reconnect to nature, and took inspiration from Mark in that, and in the matter of hazelnuts, though the recipes differ… 

100 grams of wild garlic

100 grams of hazelnuts

100 grams of parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese

Rapeseed oil





Blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor

Add in grated cheese, chopped wild garlic, salt, pepper and a good squeeze of lemon.

Blitz again, adding rapeseed oil until you have your desired consistency



“Wild garlic is, in my opinion, one of the easiest (and tastiest!) plants to forage. If you are unsure of your identification, simply crush some between your fingers and wait for that amazing garlic smell.

“This recipe can be played around with. Pine nuts also work, as does hard goats cheese. If you want to really commit to the foraged flavours, use sorrel instead of lemon for added acidity.

“This pesto maintains its flavor best when kept in as close to its raw form as possible. Stir into pasta before you serve, drop on top of a tart, spread over bread or simply use as a dip.”

home made, with ingredients from where you make your home

Louise joined our team in October 2017. Prior to joining us, she worked for RSPB, looking after funding in South & West of Scotland, which is what brought her to Islay in the first place. She actually has a BA(hons) in music business, but decided to work in the third sector after her degree. 

She says, “Living in Islay has really heightened my appreciation for the outdoors. I think I would struggle to live in Glasgow city centre again! Nothing beats the 5 minute commute to the distillery, with views over the Lochindaal to the Paps of Jura. Also, you’re never going to see an otter from your office window back in Glasgow!”



Further Reading

Can’t do better than to refer to Mark Williams’ website for ID information and ideas. Galloway Wild Foods – wild garlic / ransoms >

wild garlic, Islay

more features

Due to regulations in your own country of residence, you cannot access this website

By entering you accept the use of cookies to enhance your user experience and collect information on the use of the website. Find out more