9th April 2020

Food / Natasha Lloyd

Forage of the Month: Spring Pesto

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Forage of the Month: Spring Pesto

As with all recipes this is a guide, enjoy experimenting until you find the taste you prefer. Get creative, swap and change ingredients to suit your local area and the time of year. This is a classic Spring pesto that I have been making for years and it has always gone down well.

Serves: 3

Cooks in: 5 mins

Difficulty: Easy


A handful of roasted nuts - I prefer to use hazelnuts as they are native to the UK
A splash of oil - use which ever oil you prefer I have to admit to sticking to olive oil most of the time because I like the taste and the quality it lends to the pesto
A squeeze of lemon juice- once common sorrel starts to grow, I exchange the lemon juice for a few sorrel leaves and add a bit more oil to keep the consistency I like
A clove of garlic - once wild garlic appears, I use a few leaves of that instead of a clove of garlic
About three handfuls of dandelion leaves

1. Place the foraged leaves and oil into a blender and pulse. Add the nuts, garlic and lemon juice and pulse again adjusting the oil as needed.

2. Place into a sterilised container and add a small drizzle of oil on top -this helps preserve it- and place in the fridge until needed. It will last up to a month but I’m sure you will have eaten in that time and even made some more!

3. The humble Dandelion has a lot to offer. I hope you will not look at this small plant, growing in the crack of the pavement, in the same way again. Please do not eat anything you cannot fully 110% identify. With the recent upsurge and interest in foraging in the last few years there have been an increase in hospitalisations and unfortunately some deaths have occurred. Please do not become one of these cases. If you are unsure ask an experienced forager for advice. I have a page on my website. www.gatheringnature.com that explains the best way to learn about foraging and recommended books and websites to learn from. I’m in no way discouraging you from getting out there and learning but please exercise caution. It takes time to learn and that is part of the joy of learning about your local environment and seeing the plants through the seasons.*As with all foraging, it is wise to only take a small amount from each patch or plant. If we take too much, we can alter the growth of the plant and the speed of that particular patch. The rule of thumb is, take no more than a third of anything. This also leaves some for anyone that comes behind you looking for that plant.

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Natasha Lloyd

Natasha Lloyd is a Medical Herbalist and Forager, based in the heart of Cairngorm National Park in Scotland. Natasha has been teaching foraging and herbalism for over 15 years through guided walks, talks and workshops.

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