Chickweed pesto

March 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm 2 comments

ChickweedLast Sunday at the first Wild Food and Herb Market in Carrboro I learned from the amazing Kim Calhoun that some of those weeds proliferating in my yard and garden are both delicious and nutritious. Freebies from Mother Nature. I had heard that chickweed made great pesto, but that seemed too good to be true.

During a short walk on the wild side, Kim validated the chickweed story and gave me a whole new perspective on the bounty growing all around us. She showed us the familiar chickweed, dandelion and speedwell thriving just a few steps away, confirming that chickweed and dandelion are great for salad and pesto, and speedwell has medicinal properties.

It’s important to properly identify plants before consuming them, Kim said (a magnifying glass and illustrated guide are useful tools). Avoid areas that may have been treated with pesticides or harmed by roadway run-off or other toxic substances.  And, before harvesting, be sure to thank the plant and don’t pluck more than you need.

A week later, I got down on my knees in my garden patch to thank and pluck three cups of the chickweed that had proliferated there since I harvested my sweet potatoes in the fall. A few minutes later, I was savoring the fantastic Chickweed Pesto I made from Kim’s recipe, reprinted below with her permission.

If you want to learn more about edible wild foods and herbs, I recommend that you connect with Kim and consider signing up for her March 24 “eat wild spring” workshop at the N.C. Botanical Garden, where you’ll get to forage and make wild greens pesto.

Planty Kim’s Wild Greens Pesto

Ingredients:

3 medium garlic cloves

½ cup walnuts (or pecans, almonds, cashews, pine nuts)

3 cups firmly packed greens (any combo of seasonal wild & cultivated herbs—see list below)

¼-½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon plum vinegar (or sea salt to taste)

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (a dairy-free option instead of parmesan cheese)

Preparation:

1. Blend garlic and nuts in food processor until coarsely chopped.

2. Add remainder of ingredients to food processor and blend till desired smoothness. Yields approximately one cup.

3. Eat on crackers, mixed into pasta, smeared on a frittata or fried egg sandwich, spread on rolls or pizza, get creative!

4. Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for a week or more. I like to triple the recipe and freeze some Wild Green Pesto in half pint (8oz.) glass mason jars.

Wild Greens of the NC Piedmont in early Spring (to name a few): chickweed, creasy greens/cress, dandelion leaves, plantain leaves, tender yellow dock leaves, wild lettuce leaves, cleavers, wild garlic, self heal, violets,henbit…don’t forget flowers too—dandelion (remove bitter green base), henbit…

Cultivated Greens: parsley, cilantro, nettle, lemon balm, thyme, rosemary, nettle, oregano…

About these ads

Entry filed under: Locavore recipes, Sustainable Food, Wild Food. Tags: , , , , , .

Save our farms from fiscal cliff Parsley, please

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Herbs | familyrecipebooks  |  March 21, 2013 at 9:23 am

    [...] Chickweed pesto (sustainablegrub.wordpress.com) [...]

    Reply
  • 2. turmeric  |  April 26, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Turmeric is not only a powerful antioxidant, but
    it is also an anti-inflammatory, which is being studied in
    relation to stopping or preventing some cancers. The reason for this is not only because it tastes good,
    but also because this spice provides many health benefits.
    The positive effects of this natural wonder range from pain relief to
    settling the stomach and doctors have only just begun to delve into its potential to fight
    serious disease.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Latest Tweets

Feeds

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 44 other followers

Categories

Archives

Bookmark and Share

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 44 other followers

%d bloggers like this: