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gathering wild garlic

Wild garlic picking 2023

Each spring, Franco Manca’s Pizzaioli team travel to the picturesque gardens of Milton Abbey School in Dorset for their wild garlic picking pilgrimage.

Our seasonal pesto dip is available for a limited time only!

A long-standing tradition, the outing is not only a great day spent as a team in the countryside, but it also provides the pizzerias with fresh, seasonal produce – the basis for all Franco Manca pizzas.

The hand-picked crop of wild garlic leaves is quickly whisked away and arrives at the Franco Manca development kitchen to be thoroughly washed and made into fresh wild garlic pesto. The pesto is served as a dip in all of Franco Manca’s pizzerias across the UK for a limited time. The perfect pairing to any pizza, the delicious wild garlic pesto is made by blending the fresh leaves with olive oil, parmesan cheese and roasted almonds, then seasoning with salt and pepper.

What started as an invite from the Milton Abbey School to assist with picking the huge crop of fragrant wild garlic that grows in the woodlands of their grounds, has turned into an annual trip that helps the school’s gardening team with the task and in turn gives the Pizzaioli team a chance to hand-pick the produce that they will be working with in their kitchens. To ensure that the patch of wild garlic can grow and thrive just as it has in past years, the team taking part is taught how to pick the leaves in a way that ensures regrowth.

A few members of the Franco Manca Pizzaioli team also ran a cookery masterclass for students from the school’s 4th form and 6th form classes, teaching them how to make sourdough pizza and educating them on the importance of cooking with fresh and seasonal produce.

Following Franco Manca’s planet-friendly ethos, the team travels down to Dorset on a carbon neutral coach and they use compostable bags to collect the crop.

This year, the team picked a whopping 850kg of wild garlic! Look out for our delicious pesto dip coming to your local pizzeria from Monday 8th May – available for a limited time only, so don’t miss your chance to try it.

Still hungry? Go for seconds.

fresh wild garlic
  • Recipes

Wild garlic pesto

In spring you should be able to find plenty of garlic growing in the wild. The pesto is a wonderful way to enjoy.

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