Image Credit - Glen Duckett.

Blog and recipes provided by Glen Duckett. 

When I am out walking in our beautiful county, I enjoy spending time foraging delicious natural goods, free of pesticides and as organic as they could possibly be!

There is plenty of richness provided for us in nature across all the seasons and this walk has it all. The beauty of walking in nature and foraging, allows us to replenish our mental health and then take nutritious natural and free foods back home to our kitchen to continue the story. This maintains a positive wellness mindset when returning to our often hectic lives!

Through late April into May, there is an abundance of fresh young leaves to be harvested to be enjoyed in your cooking. The key ingredients in early Spring are wild garlic, young nettle and new hawthorn leaves. All of these can be readily foraged on your walk.

Here are 2 fabulous twists on a couple of easy and delicious Italian condiments for meats, fish and pasta dishes.

Wild garlic and nettle pesto

2 large handfuls (roughly 100g) of wild garlic leaves

1 large handful (roughly 50g) of nettle leaves

50g of toasted pinenuts or hazelnuts

1 clove of garlic

50g of Parmesan, Grana Padano or equivalent cheese

125ml of rapeseed, olive or nut oil

Juice and zest of half an unwaxed lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Storage jar


  1. Wash the foraged leaves. Pat dry the garlic leaves and roughly chop.
  2. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Drop in the nettle leaves and simmer for 2 mins. Drain and run under cold water. Squeeze as much water out of the leaves as possible before roughly chopping them.
  3. Add the chopped leaves, garlic, cheese, lemon zest and pine nuts to a food processor. Blitz until a paste. Add seasoning, and with the mixer running slowly, add 90% of the oil. Taste, season again if necessary and add the lemon juice. Delicious!
  4. Store the pesto in a heat cleaned jar and add the remaining oil to the top. 
  5. The pesto will keep a number of weeks in the fridge!

Hawthorn gremolata

3 large handfuls (roughly 150g) of finely chopped hawthorn leaves

1 large clove of garlic

Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon and juice of half

50ml of rapeseed, olive or nut oil


  1. Wash the hawthorn leaves and pat dry.
  2. Finely chop the garlic and hawthorn leaves and place in a mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and mix together. Add the oil and lemon juice, and mix again to make a juicy paste. The mix can also be done in a food processor, but is often better made by hand!
  3. Store the gremolata in a heat cleaned jar in the fridge.




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