Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chickweed Pesto (more growing food without a garden)

notice there are only 5 petals, but they are deeply split, making it look more daisy-like

What a cold and wet spring we have had here so far!  I've barely been able to do anything in the garden.  Our March temperatures have averaged 20 degrees colder than last year's March.  Last March was too warm by 5-10 degrees, but you'd think we could have some "normal" more moderate weather!

My collards and pak choy that have grown so well and keeping me in greens through the winter are
bolting (evidently the bolting has more to do with longer days than warmer temperatures).  The cold and wet have kept me from planting much in the garden for spring, and I'm afraid now it may be too late for a good spring harvest of radishes, sugar snaps, and lettuce before we hit the hot summer temperatures.

Since I haven't dug much in the garden yet, nor emptied pots around the yard from last season, I have a good bit of chickweed growing everywhere.  Chickweed loves to grow in cultivated ground -- garden beds and pots.  It is also easily found growing in a lawn that is not sprayed.   It's easy to pull out, and of course the chickens LOVE it -- but it is also a pretty tasty edible that you can add to salads or use as a sandwich topping like lettuce or sprouts.

The other day I went out to the yard and just snipped some plants off from the base and brought them in and made a pesto spread.  We don't spray any of our yard with pesticides or herbicides, and we live on a residential street so I feel we don't need to worry about too much pollution from cars affecting the plants.  A couple of snips yielded about 2 or 3 cups, which I cut up with scissors in the bowl so the long stems would not tangle in my food processor blade.

Into the food processor, with 4 cloves of minced garlic (because I like lots of garlic), 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup of parmesan, a tablespoon of lemon juice and some lemon balm I found growing in the herb garden, a dash of salt, some pepper, and a handful of walnuts.

Chickweed Pesto!  We used it on crackers and with chips.  It had a fresh lemon-y flavor and kept its color over the several days it lasted.  I used the remainder then in a pesto-bean-syrian (thinly sliced red onions, roasted mini-peppers, tomatoes, green beans, olives and feta with the pesto mixed in a lemony oregano vinaigrette) kind of salad to go with the Vegetable Pastitsio I made for Easter dinner.

I love to eat my weeds!

Joining Tuesday Garden Party; Backyard Farming Connection Blog Hop; Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop


tina said...

I never knew you could eat chickweed. That's a good use for it as it is rather rampant this time of the year. Congrats on your grandbaby! I seem to remember you posting about it? I think spring has arrived so have fun!

Lisa Lynn said...

Great idea! I'd love to have you stop by and share your post on The Creative HomeAcre Hop today!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Thanks for giving me something to do with that chickweed!

I'm skipping any spring type veggie this year. It's already uncomfortably hot. At least I'm uncomfortable - my husband on the other hand is loving it!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Now I know what that nasty weed is growing all over my yard: Chickweed. You are right that it is easy to pull and now I will have something I can do with it. I can make chickweed pesto.