Spring is the best time of year for wild greens! They’re both nutritious and delicious! Chickweed (pictured above) is super prolific, an...

How to Make Wild Greens Pesto

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Spring is the best time of year for wild greens! They’re both nutritious and delicious! Chickweed (pictured above) is super prolific, and easy to harvest with a pair of scissors. It has lots of protein, a rare thing in greens, making it a great survival food to know about. It’s also packed with vitamin C, along with A, D, B, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.  It's one of the first greens to pop up and one of the last to stick around. In milder climates, it might hang out all year long.

Chickweed's botanical name is Stellaria media. The first part of that (the genus), means "star" because of the way the flower looks star-shaped. The flowers have 5 petals, though they look like they have 10, because each petal is split into two lobes. This plant is in the Caryophyllaceae family, also know as the "pink" family or the "carnation" family. Gardeners often despise this weed that invades their garden, but it pulls up easily and is so nutritious and delicious, with its mild, delicate taste. It definitely makes a good case for the saying, "If you can beat em, eat em!"

I also like to add chickweed to my cough syrup and salves. It has been worked with for dissolving cysts, lowering cholesterol, and weight loss. It can also be applied topically in compresses for almost any kind of skin issue.

Let's get started with the wild pesto recipe...

Wild Greens Options for Your Pesto (From top left, clockwise): Sochan or Cut-leaft Coneflower, Ramps, Daylily, Dandelion

Ingredients:

  • 2 c wild greens (chickweed, wintercress/creasy greens, purple dead nettle, wild onions, dandelion, daylily, etc) 
  • ½ c nuts/seeds (sunflower, walnut, pecan, etc) 
  • ¼ c + ⅛ c olive or other similar tasting oil 
  • 2-3 cloves garlic or an equal amount of wild onion tops and/or bulbs
  • dash salt 

Directions:

  1. Either don’t wash greens, or wash and spin or allow to dry. 
  2. Grind garlic in food processor. Then add nuts/seeds and process until they make a coarse meal.
  3. Add the greens to the food processor and process until chopped.
  4. Add the first ¼ c oil and salt. Process to combine the oil.
  5. If pesto, is still too dry, add the rest of the oil and process. If still too dry, add a tiny little bit more oil. If too wet, add a little bit more greens. This is great for dipping, topping toast or leftover burgers.


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