This Chickweed Pesto Recipe Is Simple and Delicious

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Chickweed Pesto Recipe

I love pesto! And I’ve tried many different recipes including basil, cilantro, nettles, and more. But to me, this chickweed pesto recipe is one of the best!

Chickweed doesn’t have a really strong flavor, like cilantro or some of the cresses like watercress. It’s milder and has a notable nutty flavor.

Why Chickweed Pesto?

For me, chickweed is a natural choice. It is common and abundant, chemical-free, noninvasive, not endangered, and is packed with nutrients. It contains vitamins A, C, and D along with a few of the B vitamins.

For minerals, it has iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, sodium, copper, and silica. And if that’s not enough, it also contains beta carotene and rutin, a flavonoid known to reduce LDL cholesterol.[1] I haven’t even started on the taste! It reminds me of pea pods or fresh green beans. Chickweed also tends to lean towards earthy, but nuttier. If you haven’t tried it, now is your chance!

Finding Chickweed

In the early spring, you’ll likely see chickweed coming up along streams and in yards. It likes the cooler temperatures of fall and spring, so you’ll see it then more than any other time. Here in Western North Carolina, we see it all winter, unless it gets below zero for a spell. It seems to die out when it gets around 0, but the roots usually survive, and it’ll grow again when it gets a bit warmer. I’ve been known to dig in the snow if I get a hankering for this chickweed pesto recipe.

If you can’t find it locally, try your local farmer’s market or food co-op. Sometimes you can find it there. If nothing else, you can get seeds for them in many places. Chickweed isn’t picky about growing conditions but seems to prefer moist, slightly compacted soil and cooler temperatures. Don’t be fooled by its delicate stature. It can handles temperatures down to the teens.

Chickweed Pesto Recipe

Chickweed Pesto Recipe

I love pesto! And I’ve tried many different recipes including basil, cilantro, nettles, and more. But to me, this chickweed pesto recipe is one of the best!
Prep Time
15 minutes
Blending Time
5 minutes
Total Time
20 minutes
Servings
16 ounces
Courses
Appetizer, Snacks
Cuisine
Italian
Estimated Cost
$1

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh chickweed (washed and roots removed)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • juice from 1 lime
  • lime zest (if desired)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (toasted)

Instructions

  1. Place everything for this chickweed pesto recipe (except the olive oil) into a blender or food processor. Blend until it turns into a puree, but on the chunky side.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil.
  3. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
  4. Serve on crackers or crostini.

Notes

This chickweed pesto recipe will keep overnight but may separate a bit. Stir well before serving.

For the best results, toast the pine nuts for a short time. Be careful not to burn them.

Nutrition:

Serving: 4ounces | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
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Chickweed Pesto Recipe

I love pesto! And I’ve tried many different recipes including basil, cilantro, nettles, and more. But to me, this chickweed pesto recipe is one of the best!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh chickweed, washed and roots removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a few twists fresh ground pepper
  • juice from 1 lime
  • lime zest if desired
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Instructions

  1. Place everything for this chickweed pesto recipe (except the olive oil) into a blender or food processor. Blend until it turns into a puree, but on the chunky side.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil.
  3. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
  4. Serve on crackers or crostini.

Notes

This chickweed pesto recipe will keep overnight but may separate a bit. Stir well before serving.

For the best results, toast the pine nuts for a short time. Be careful not to burn them.

Additions and Substitutions

You can use different nuts if you like. I love pistachios and this works very well with them.

You can also add a bit of jalapeno or Serrano pepper for some extra kick.

If you want to use another oil, most oils work with this recipe if they are liquid. I’ve used sesame (the flavor was a bit strong for me), sunflower, safflower, and algae oils. They are all a bit different, so use what works best for you.

Have you made chickweed pesto or another unique pesto? Tell us about it!

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Sources

  1. The Potential Health Benefits of Rutin. Healthline.com. Accessed April 2020.

About Debra Maslowski

Debra is a master gardener, a certified herbalist, a natural living instructor and more. She taught Matt and Betsy how to make soap so they decided to bring her on as a staff writer! Debra recently started an organic herb farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina. You can even purchase her handmade products on Amazon! Connect with Debra Maslowski on G+.

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