Spring Tonic Weed Pesto
Pesto is one of the tastier ways to consume any green plant, especially those with strong flavors. It can incorporate essentially anything green, though some leaves, and combinations of leaves, will taste better than others. It will pretty much always taste good. If not good enough, add more nuts, garlic, oil and cheese.
Our pesto will be a base of dandelion since they are literally everywhere. In todayâ€™s version I add nettles, as they are prolific right now where I live, and make a thick, aromatic pesto. But you could substitute any number of wild greens or weeds, like lambsâ€™ quarter, watercress or chickweed, or a mixture of whatever you think will go well together. If these flavors are too strong, you could also substitute parsley or basil in place of some of the wild stuff.
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup almonds (or pine nuts)
Â½ cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese
Zest of a lemon, and 2 tablespoons of juice
4 cup chopped dandelion greens, loosely packed, spotlessly clean 5 three-inch nettle tips (or other greens)
Add the garlic, salt, oil, almonds, cheese, lemon juice and zest to the blender and turn them into a thin, homogenous (and delicious) solution. Carefully add the greens to the pesto, a few at a time, until they too are part of the smooth, green paste. Serve your weed pesto tossed on piping hot noodles, which will cook the garlic just a tad. I like to stir in some sautÃ©ed greens too, for an extra reminder of why we are here.