by Sharon Lindner
Weeds You Can Eat - Chickweed Pesto
Weeds by definition are unwanted and wild, for an Herbalist like me, they are nutritious and easy to source.
It is important to correctly identify each plant. If you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it! Take the time to study and identify correctly any plant your tempted to nibble on, or talk to someone experienced in plant identification. There may even be plant walks in your local area that you can sign up for.
Make sure the plants you harvest have not been sprayed with pesticides or other hazardous chemicals. Respect the plants, only take what you need from the plant, so the plant survives and continues to flourish. Thank the plant for its offering.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a weed that grew freely in my backyard when I was a child. You may find it growing in your garden, or in the surrounding area and just didn’t know that you could eat it.
When harvesting Chickweed, look for the single row of hairs along the stem as an identifying marker to help distinguish it from its many look a like’s. The young green leaves can be added to salads, wraps or to make a nutrient rich green pesto. Chickweed is one of the first tinctures I reach for when treating skin conditions. It has a beautiful cooling anti-inflammatory/antihistamine action when used internally for itchy skin conditions. It can also be used as a poultice or to make an ointment.
1 cup nuts (almonds, cashew, walnut or pine nuts)
3 large cloves of garlic
3 cups of Chickweed (if you don’t have enough add rocket, basil or baby spinach)
Add juice and zest of ½ lemon
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste. A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
¼ cup of parmesan cheese, or instead you can add ½ an avocado (I add both).
Use a food processor or a Thermomix to blend everything together. Enjoy!