In my garden after winter, suddenly some weeds have totally taken over the hidden corners. I did not pay attention. Elder, cress and dandelion leaves are growing exuberantly. Normally I would have been a grumbling gardener about that fact. Now I am a happy gardener. Because I am weeding for pesto!
See how you can turn your weeds into something delicious.
Bitter cress (Cardamine hirsuta). Cut the roots before washing: most soil and sand is in there.
Bitter-cress, elder, dandelion leaves and a bit of purple dead-nettle for decoration. I even put in some fennel sprouts that had popped up unwanted.
Also edible and tasty, the fresh leaves of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) before it’s flowering.
Ingredienst for pesto: walnuts, pine nuts, grated Parmesan (or some other hard cheese), some oil, pepper and salt. And garlic, because I like it a lot.
Variation: elder (Aegopodium podagraria) with cashew nuts and some grated old Gouda cheese. Great taste!
How much of each ingredient? Just give it a intuitive try, because it does not really matter. It should be a rough, somewhat smooth stuff.
The result. Good on bread, toast, asparagus, spaghetti.
Decoration with purple dead-nettle for an extra weedy look 🙂
More edible plant inspiration
Instagram follower @joachim_loman told me how he makes a salsa verde, that is tasty on cauliflower, broccoli, fish and bread.
He puts the following in a blender:
- some anchovies
- some sour pickles
- 1 hard boiled egg
- green herbs like parsley, dandelion leaf, young nettle, shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
- salt & pepper
- olive oil – which you add during the blending process
Read this blog about common weeds you probably never thought you could eat.
See this video about 6 delicious plants you can forage in your local urban park: