Pesto is a perfect way to preserve the wild greens that grow in your yard and garden. Go beyond basil and forage some goodies to include in your next batch!
There is a bounty of wild and cultivated green goodies just waiting to be enjoyed – all you have to do is to learn to see them, and there they are! When you gain a familiarity with the plants and life around you and you know what wild foods are safe to eat, walking through the yard can seem like walking through the grocery store. I’ve seen dandelion greens being sold for prices that made my jaws drop when I thought of the many healthy patches that were thriving in my yard.
In my wee acre alone, throughout the growing seasons, you will find dandelion, thyme, oregano, bee balm, lamb’s quarters, rockets, garlic mustard, bittercress, nettles, chickweed, ground ivy, violets, and of course, basil! With so many edible and unique greens, it is only natural that a wild greens pesto would become a favorite way to enjoy wild greens throughout the whole year.
If you are new to foraging and want to learn more about wild, edible greens in your yard, here are a few good resources. Remember, NEVER forage or wildcraft unless you have a competent guide or are completely confident in your identification skills. NEVER gather in areas that are likely to have been sprayed with herbicides.
- Life From Scratch: Stinging Nettles: ID, Harvest, and Prep
- Learning and Yearning: Dandelions: Foraging Them, Eating Them, and Keeping Them Out of Your Lawn
Wild Greens Pesto
If you are using nettles in your wild pesto, don’t forget to blanch them for a minute or two before proceeding with the recipe to remove their sting!
- 2 cups of greens & herbs (I used a mix of stinging nettles, bittercress, wooly lamb’s ear, baby spinach, kale, chickweed, carrot greens, oregano, thyme, and basil.)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced (lacto-fermented garlic is even better)
- 1/4 cup of seeds or nuts, chopped (pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, etc)
- Splash of lemon juice (or 1 tbsp minced fermented lemon)
- Grated hard cheese, such as parmesan (optional)
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
Rough chop the greens and add them to your food processor or mortar and pestle. Toss in the minced garlic and seeds/nuts and blend it all together. Add a splash of lemon juice or fermented lemon rind to brighten up the color and flavor. Add olive oil a bit at a time until you reach your preferred texture. Do you want a sauce-like pesto? Add more. Want a paste? Add less! Flavor to your tastes with salt, pepper, and hard cheese.
That’s all it takes! Use your pesto within a day or two and keep it in the fridge. You can also freeze pesto in ice cube trays to make additions to soups, pasta sauces, pizzas, or other goodies all year-round. I use one-cup silicone ice cube trays for easy portioning.
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Tagged: bittercress, Chickweed, eat your weeds, featured, foraging, garlic, lemon, nettles, oregano, pesto, recipe, recipe box, recipes, spinach, wildcrafting
Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!
Thank you so much for sharing my foraging post! Love this pesto recipe. I’ve been thinking a lot about different toppings for white pizza, and pesto would be a lovely idea.
Thank you for your comment, as well as your contribution! 🙂 Mmmm…pesto pizza…*happy tummy*
[…] I suppose people take one look at her and decide she’s just a useless weed since she doesn’t seem to take well to command. There’s no growing in straight lines for the little star lady – she just pops up when and where she pleases, and often appears when you need her assistance. You should go out and walk around your yard and see if you can find her. If you haven’t put any poison on her, then pick a young leaf and pop it in your mouth! Trust me – it’ll be fine…I do it all the time. When I do that, all I taste is fresh and green…she’s great to throw into a salad mix for a boost of nutrients and nurturing live food (like pesto!) […]
[…] flavor to a salad, or use larger ones in place of grape leaves in your dolma recipe, add them to a wild pesto, or stew them up with your poke greens or bittercress. You can candy her flowers, toss them in your […]
We just made stinging nettle pesto, and homemade pasta, with fresh fava beans from the garden. Excellent! Waiting for the nettle patch to grow some more and recover before getting more.
Oooh, that sounds delicious, Cindy! 😀
[…] Wild Greens Pesto […]
I love this idea of making pesto with wild greens! Thanks for sharing 🙂 The tip about blanching the nettles is a good one – it would be easy to forget, and that would not be good!