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Wild Greens Pesto

Amber Shehan February 8, 2015

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!

Wild Greens Pesto Recipe on pixiespocket.com

There is a bounty of wild and cultivated green goodies just waiting to be enjoyed once you know they are there. Once 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 remembered how many were thriving in my yard. Throughout the growing season, you can find dandelion, thyme, oregano, bee balm, bittercress, nettles, chickweed, ground ivy, violets, and of course, basil! All of these are wonderful foods and making pesto is a great 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.

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Wild Greens Pesto

wild greens pesto banner pixiespocket.com

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!

  • Author: Amber Shehan

Ingredients

  • 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 (lacto-fermented garlic is even better)
  • 1/4 cup of seeds or nuts (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

Instructions

Rough chop the greens and add them to your food processor or mortar and pestle. Toss in the garlic cloves 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 it to your tastes with the salt, pepper, and hard cheese.

Notes

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.

Chickweed is here!
A beautiful bounty of tasty Chickweed!


Amber Shehan

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!

8 Comments

  1. Rebecca | LettersFromSunnybrook.com on February 8, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    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.

    • Amber Shehan on February 9, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Thank you for your comment, as well as your contribution! 🙂 Mmmm…pesto pizza…*happy tummy*

  2. Let's Talk About Chickweed - Pixie's Pocket on February 20, 2015 at 8:51 am

    […] 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!) […]

  3. Let's Talk About Violet - Pixie's Pocket on March 2, 2015 at 11:35 am

    […] 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 […]

  4. Cindy Myers on March 15, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    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.

    • Amber Shehan on March 15, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Oooh, that sounds delicious, Cindy! 😀

  5. […] Wild Greens Pesto […]

  6. Emma Cooper on August 23, 2016 at 2:06 am

    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!

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