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Bärlauch (Wild Garlic) Pesto

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Austrian
Keyword Pesto, Wild Garlic


  • Food Processor


  • Bärlauch (2+ large bundles)
  • Walnuts or pine nuts
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt, Pepper, Hot Chili Flakes
  • Optional: Garlic Cloves


  • In my opinion, pesto has to be about preference, so I'm only going to give you a rough guide of what to look for. If you are eager to be more authentic in the process, this can be done in with a mortar and pestle. Otherwise, use a blender or food processor.
  • Add the Bärlauch to the processor with a few tablespoons or estimated rounds of olive oil, a palm-full (or more, depending on how much greens you are using) of nuts, a few squeezes of lemon juice, a few twists or pinches of salt and pepper, and less than a palm-full of Parmigiano. Begin to blend.
  • Use your eyes and ears - if the processor becomes 'stuck', you do not have enough liquid, so add more olive oil.

Every 10 or so seconds, stop the blender to taste:

  • Add more nuts and cheese for a more robust flavor, or more lemon juice if you are seeking more acidity.
  • After about two stops of the blender, check for salt content. At this point, it should now be dispersed, so check for that, as well as black pepper.
  • Taste whether the Bärlauch is just garlicky enough or you prefer more. I opted to add three garlic cloves per 2 bundles of leaves.
  • I prefer my pesto with a little spice, so I add a few dashes of hot chili flakes.


I prefer that my pesto has texture, at the point just before it gets smooth, although it should have no "crunch" from the nuts. Additionally, the ratio of ingredients is entirely up to how much greenery you have as your base - this is a recipe that I believe has no space for measurements and is entirely based upon the continuous tasting and adjusting.
When the pesto is finished, it should neither be too liquidy or too dense - a happy medium where the pesto can hold its own, but be a light accompaniment to pasta or spread on fresh toast.