Chickweed is prolific in our yard right now so today we made pesto with it! It is so easy and such a fun thing to do with the kids. You should definitely try it this spring. As a word of caution make sure to rinse your Chickweed well and avoid foraging for it in a place that might be sprayed by pesticides. I use a Thieves fruit and veggie wash on mine before cooking with it.
My favorite way to serve it is with a loaf of freshly baked bread. Spread the Chickweed Pesto on it and you have lunch! We’ve also used it for pasta, as a dip for carrots and baked on top of chicken. Just get a couple chicken breasts, pour the pesto on top and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese then pop in oven until chicken is done. I will sometimes add chopped up red potatoes or green beans to that as well. It is so yummy!
Before I get to the recipe here are some quick tips on how to identify Common Chickweed in your yard. Chickweed will typically grow around a fence or house. We have it around the legs of our picnic table also. It’s a sprawler. You will notice the delicate white flowers on it that have what look like 10 petals but they are actually 5 sets of lobed petals. Take a look at the stem, if you see very fine hairs growing along it then you’ve got Chickweed. Another indication is the leaves that grow opposite each other. To learn more about foraging for herbs in your very own backyard check out my last post here.
Enjoy and happy foraging for food! Keep in mind that Chickweed can be substituted for basil, kale, spinach or arugula (which is a little spicier in taste) as well. Just use this recipe as a base and modify however you like and with whatever is in season around you. You can even use a combination of greens if you don’t have enough of one thing.
- 2 cups packed Chickweed (stems, leaves and flowers)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup walnuts (can substitute pine nuts or cashews)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 juice of a lemon (can substitute 2 drops lemon essential oil)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tblsp flaxseed (optional)
- Combine ingredients in food processor or blender and mix until desired consistency is reached.
- Refrigerate after making. Should keep for up to a week.