Amazing Weed-inspired Pesto Recipes


September’s Eat Your Weeds workshop hosted by Cathy Bouma of Tuahiwi Herbs was a sell-out success. Thirty participants enjoyed Cathy’s lively presentation and demonstration of various weed-inspired foods and flavours. Everyone enjoyed the herbal infused teas and went away inspired to experiment for themselves.

Stinging Nettle Pesto

3 c of nettles (young shoots are best)
¹⁄₃ c olive oil
½ c grated parmesan cheese
¹⁄₃ c nuts (pine nuts, hazelnuts or walnuts)
3 cloves garlic
½ tsp salt

Wearing gloves, gather 6 cups of stinging nettles. Put into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, then put into a bowl of iced water. Dry thoroughly with a salad spinner (or a towel). Put nettle leaves, olive oil, parmesan, nuts, garlic and salt and pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth.

Chickweed & Smoked Garlic Pesto

3 c chickweed
3 – 4 cloves smoked
¹⁄₃ c pine nuts
¹⁄₃ c olive oil
½ – 1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Season to taste with salt.

Garden Pesto (Dairy Free)

4 bunches (300g) herbs – fennel, parsley, chickweed
5 cloves peeled garlic
2 tsp salt
200 gm cashew nuts
1 c olive oil
¼ tsp black pepper
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup cold water

Toast the cashews in a pan until golden. Leave to cool. Put cashews, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and ½ cup olive oil in a food processor and blend. Add herbs and blend more. While blending slowly add the water and remaining olive oil. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

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