Chickweed in a pestle & mortar

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Chickweed pesto

Chickweed pesto

This abundant garden weed is commonly fed to chickens and songbirds, but is a good food for humans too. I don't like the taste of chickweed on its own. But this recipe is so delicious that it has become a regular part of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners in our house, and we make it often. It can be served on pasta like a basil pesto, but we usually just serve it as a side dish with whatever we are eating.

Chickweed, surprisingly, is higher in iron than nettles or any vegetables. Pop-eye should have been eating chickweed, not spinach!

We grow pots of chickweed, which keep us going right through the winter in an unheated greenhouse. It is available outdoors almost year round, though it will disappear in a hard winter or a hot dry summer. Spring and autumn are the best times to harvest.

Put everything in a food processor:

a colander full of chickweed (around 80 to 100g)

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup cold pressed oil (we like hemp seed or olive)

2 tablespoons yeast flakes (nutritional yeast/Engevita)

1 or 2 teaspoons vegetable stock powder, or salt to taste

Best eaten fresh, though it will keep in the fridge for a few days if you don't eat it all right away.

Variations: you can add wild garlic leaves, sorrel or other edible greens in place of some of the chickweed.

Posted 30 Mar 2020