I went down to my parent’s place in West Cork for Easter and decided that I should make dinner one of the nights I was there. I had heard that Wild Onionwas now in season and as our place in West Cork is surrounded with the stuff I decided to make something using it. Despite our house being surrounded with it, we never actually ate it growing up. It was only after hearing others talking about cooking with it, that I decided to give it a go.
I decided to make Wild Onion Pesto and make a pasta dish with it, as this seemed the easiest think to do and added some smoked bacon lardons to the dish for a bit of extra flavour. I managed to get my hands on some fresh pasta from Iago’s in The English Market which made such a difference, but of course any pasta would do. I garnished with some chopped almonds leftover from the pesto and some flowers from the wild onion to make it look more time consuming than it was! I had only made a jar of pesto but still had about half a jar leftover which was surprisingly nice with eggs on toast the next morning, as well as in some sandwiches for lunch.
The pesto will last about a week in the fridge (cover the top of it with some olive oil to preserve), but you can easily freeze tupperware containers of it, so it’s worth making a larger batch and having a few tubs in the freezer for the coming months. If you don’t have access to Wild Onion, just use basil. Also you can use any nuts in the pesto that you like. This is a really easy dish that you can adjust as you wish. All parts of the Wild Onion plant are edible so just wash well and do what you like with it, it would be lovely in salads and mashed potato dishes too. It’s growing everywhere in Cork and probably Ireland at the moment and is free, so go mad and give it a go!
Ingredients (Serves Four):
Wild Onion Pesto (to make one jar):
1 Large Bunch Wild Onion(about 2 large fist fulls)
60g parmesan cheese
Tagiatelle Pasta for 4 people (or whatever pasta you have)
200g Smoked Bacon Lardons
2 tbsp Chopped Almonds
Wild Onion Flowers
1. Blitz up the almonds with a hand blender and add in enough olive oil to combine. Add in washed and chopped wild onion and blitz in. Stir in grated parmesan and give one last little bliz to ensure well combined. Season with a little salt.
2. Fry smoked bacon lardons in a hot frying pan. When the bacon is almost done you can pop the pasta into a pot of hot, salted water with a glug of olive oil.
3. When the pasta is done, drain it and throw back in the empty pot, spoon in about half a jar of pesto and the bacon lardons. Stir well to coat the pasta evenly.
4. Serve with some chopped almonds and garnish with the wild onion flowers. Enjoy!