Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chickweed Pesto!

Bare with me on this one. I realize how it sounds suggesting you weed your garden and then go make pesto. Honestly though, what could be more resourceful? Spring's tender shoots and other early wild edibles offer some of the first tasty greens of the season, why not partake? Chickweed is easy to identify, and even easier to put on the table given it turns up almost everywhere. Chickweed has been used traditionally throughout herbal medicine to relieve symptoms from eczema and urinary tract infections to rheumatism and wounds. Here is the impressive list of nutritional properties:

Vitamins- A, B6, B12, C, and D
Minerals- iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, sodium, copper, silica.
Other properties include- beta carotene, and a flavonoid known as rutin, (which is known to increase circulation, is anti-inflammatory and decreases LDL cholesterol).

Chickweed Pesto:
*3 cups fresh chickweed
*3 cloves garlic
*1/2 cup olive oil
*1 tsp sea salt
*fresh ground pepper
*zest from 1/2 lemon
*1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds, or toasted pine nuts, or pecans, or walnuts. . .whatever you have.

Rinse chickweed well. Spin in a salad spinner to dry. Blend chickweed, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon zest and seeds/nuts in a food processor briefly. With blade still in motion slowly pour in olive oil to create a paste. Serve on meat or fish, toss with roasted fingerling potatoes or pasta or spread on sourdough. Enjoy the taste of Spring!

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  1. Oh, I'm carrying on. I just love this blog, wild weed recipes, wild cress pictures and all. Actually, eating weeds off the ground is right up my alley. Keep em coming, Rach. ps, you can get a whole bunch of chickweed and juice it with a few carrots and it makes this really really rich vitamin-y juice that I have a sense is a good thing to drink about, say, once a year or so. Because, as you know, vitamins are of utmost importance. See you in a few

  2. Yummm, I know it is probably a bit late for chickweed but will definitely be trying this. Looks great!