Ramson Pesto


  • 3 large handfuls of Ramson leaves
  • Zest and Juice of one Lemon
  • 100 g Sunflower Seeds (You can substitute the seeds for cashews or pine nuts if you prefer)
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Garlic is incredible stuff, full of a compound called allicin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antimicrobial and antiviral effects that can help to support the immune system.

    Usually when I’m making pesto I don’t tend to measure out the ingredients so don’t be overly concerned about quantities – if you have a bit more of this or a little less of that it’s not going to matter too much. Equally, if you don’t have any wild garlic, you can substitute for the more traditional basil, rocket or any other combination of herby, leafy greens that you fancy.

    It’s amazing stirred into bolognaise, baked on salmon, or for an extra zing in salad dressing.

    I make mine without cheese as my son is dairy free, but you can add this if you prefer, but it generally doesn’t keep as well.

    First lightly toast the sunflower seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat. Allow to cool a little and then place them in the food processor with the garlic clove to blitz – I like my seeds finely ground but you can leave with chunkier bits if preferred. Remove and keep to one side.

    Then add the ramson leaves, lemon zest and juice to the food processor and pulse for a minute or so until a rough paste has formed. Add the ground sunflower seed and garlic back in and pulse again until mixed. Leaving the processor running, drizzle the olive oil in until well combined. You may need to stop and scrape the sides of the mixture back down. Keep drizzling the oil until you have a good uniform consistency – for this amount of leaf you are probably going to use somewhere in the region of 150-200ml of oil.

    Have a taste – remember that it will mellow once it’s sat in the fridge overnight, so don’t be overly concerned if it tastes a little sharp. Add some salt and pepper to taste.

    Put in an air tight container such as a Kilner jar and keep in the fridge. We find it will keep well for several months – if it lasts that long!