Wild Garlic (“leurda”) Pesto

This is a sublime pesto all vibrant, pungent and aromatic. It marries gloriously with “Urda gnocchi” and equally is delicious slathered on rye & seed crackers. Its  excellent as a pasta sauce – add chopped green beans or chunks of pre-roasted eggplant for fabulously tasty vegetarian main courses and a personal fave…use as a sauce for grilled halloumi. As the first green wild garlic shoots appear in the woods in Spring, grab them and make something to wipe away dark winter memories.




50-100g fresh wild garlic (including stalks)

50g parsley (counters the effects of the garlic and adds yet more chlorophyll)

40g walnuts or almonds

25g parmesan – cubed (optional – not a disaster if you do not add parmesan)

2 garlic cloves (excessive but good)

85ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The zest of 1 lemon 9I think the lemon is quite important to the taste – try not to omit)

Salt and pepper

Equipment: a blender, food processor or stick blender

 How To 

  • Put all the ingredients except the olive oil into your blender
  • Whiz together and with the motor still running, pour the oil in until the pesto thickens. You may need to press down on the leaves to make sure they are processed.
  • Store in a clean jar in the fridge covered with a layer of oil to prevent it drying out and oxidizing.




Walnut Tart Crust

 go in with your hands!


This is a glorious tart crust to make because as you  mould the pastry with your hands the oils give you the best hand moisturizing treatment ever! The pastry is malleable and lends itself to being pushed around, meanwhile you don’t need to worry about rolling out pastry. 


Frangipane tart filling for Posh Tarts

Old school French patisserie  – make it trad with almonds or experiment with other nuts



Frangipane is a cream made with butter, eggs and traditionally almonds which provides the most moist and sumptuous setting for all kinds of fruits set in a tart. Flavour it up with amaretto and add cherries, keep it trad with almond extract and plums, add a bit of orange zest and sherry for a “Santiago” type tart, add cinnamon  and make with hazlenuts for a very very sophisticated apple tart, change the nuts and experiment with walnuts, pecans and even pistachios.  Once you have mastered this only your imagination will limit the types of tarts you create. 

Here I’ve made it old school with a bowl and a wooden spoon – as long as your butter is softened, this is all that you need.  My “Go To” recipe is of course my Mum’s one.