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
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.”