Enjoy the amazing health benefits of this ‘Superfood’, while eating some of your favorite foods. I think of Chickweed as a natural, super nutritious, tasty lettuce or as delicate, mild-tasting spinach. It also makes really delicious pesto. This is a plant, like fresh peas, where it is hard to walk past without picking some to munch on.
Remember it is OK to be versatile and diversify in the kitchen.
I am a person who tends to substitute and cook with what I have in the cupboard at the time. Being versatile in the kitchen can lead to better economy in the kitchen. Plus, versatility and diversity are the spice of life and the kitchen!
Practically any seed or nut can be used in your pesto (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seed (pepitas), pinenuts, cashew nuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds). Whichever one or blend of them you choose to use, they will impart their own distinct character and flavor to the pesto. Experiment and see which nuts and seeds suit your budget and palate best.
I often like to substitute a ¼ of a cup to one cup of the Chickweed for some other herb such as Thai Basil, Mint, Plantain, Sweet Basil or any other kind of Basil. Or anything else that is in plentiful supply. My favourite is Thai Basil.
Soak the seeds or nuts in water for a few hours before use, to release the enzyme inhibitors and to increase their creaminess in your pesto.
My Chickweed Pesto Recipe
2 cloves of Garlic
3 Tablespoons of Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
¼ tsp. salt with a little freshly ground black pepper added
2 cups chopped fresh Chickweed, or 11/2 cups of Chickweed and half a cup of Thai Basil and a few Plantain leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Parmesan or other Hard Cheese
Squeeze of Lime or Lemon juice (approx. 2 teaspoons or to taste)
Pound garlic and salt in a mortar.
Gradually add the nuts, then the greens and continue to pound.
Gradually add oil, until you have a smooth, thick paste, at your desired consistency.
I often like my pesto quite chunky and course, and not too soft, so I don’t pound it as long as you would for a smoother, softer pesto.
Stir in cheese.
Alternatively, use a blender or small food processor for all the ingredients except the parmesan cheese, which you still stir in at the end.
And that is all there is to it!
Now you can Enjoy your Wonderfully Wild Homemade Chickweed Pesto on crackers, vegetable sticks or mixed in pasta. It also makes a great sandwich spread, or on pizzas, fish, meat or potatoes, or stuffed mushrooms. . . . . .
It’s so delicious, versatile and filled with amazing nutritional value as well.
This is a great example of Food as Medicine.