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Fat Hen and Chickweed Pesto

Garden Pesto

Another year goes by and another year we are not as organised as we’d like to be down on the plot. We don’t have much in the way of veg to eat at the moment, but we do have a lot of weeds. Luckily for us, many of those weeds are not only edible, but quite delicious when eaten young. Fat hen and chickweed are two of these. Time to make pesto.

Fat Hen is one of those soft and non-bitter greens which can be substituted for spinach and chickweed makes a tasty salad leaf. I also used garlic scapes instead of garlic as that’s what we have at this time of year. Apart from the greens, I used the classic ingredients of pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. I may be vegetarian and generally I try to buy vegetarian cheeses, but cheese is an area where I don’t toe a strict line. Cutting out Parmesan from my diet, as well as our delightfully flavoursome Cornish cheeses, would be a very hard thing indeed. Of course a vegetarian alternative cheese can easily be used instead.

Fat Hen Chickweed

To make the pesto, I used my Optimum 9200 Next Generation blender, which blitzed the leaves, nuts and chunks of cheese down to a paste in seconds. As regular readers will know, I’m making good use of this powerful tool and use it nearly every day.  This was an easy job for it, but I blend all sorts of tough vegetables and other matter in my morning smoothies, that I couldn’t even contemplate in my old blender. If you are after a good blender, I would highly recommend this one, which is currently the most powerful on the market. At the moment, there is an Ā£80 discount, so now is a good time to buy. Just click on the link above, or the one in my sidebar.

Pesto Pasta

The pesto was so very good, it was hard not to spoon it straight from the jar into my mouth, but I managed to resist – for the most part. We’ve been eating it mainly on pasta, because that really is the best thing you can do with it. It makes for a very quick meal, which is just what is needed on busy days. Spread on seaweed crackers, it also makes a very tasty lunch.

For a more frugal pesto, you could replace the pine nuts with hazelnuts and the Parmesan for Cheddar.

 

Fat Hen & Chickweed Pesto
A delicious pesto which can be used on pasta, spread on bread or crackers or diluted with a little olive oil and used as a salad dressing.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 100g fat hen and chickweed
  2. 75g pine nuts
  3. 1-2 cloves garlic (I used a small bunch of garlic scapes)
  4. 75g Parmesan cheese - cut into chunks
  5. 100ml extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and pulse until the mixture is blended to a not quite smooth paste.
  2. Scrape into two sterilised jars, seal and keep in the fridge until needed.
Notes
  1. Makes two medium sized jars, which can be kept sealed in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
  2. Spinach can be substituted for the fat hen and chickweed.
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/
Pasta Please BadgeI am linking this to Pasta Please which is hosted, this month, by Lucy over at Baking Queen 74. This monthly challenge originates with Jac from Tinned Tomatoes.

 

Eat Your Greens LogoContaining plenty of wild greens as this pesto does, I am sending it off to Shaheen over at A2K – A Seasonal Veg Table for Eat Your Greens.

 

 

Simple and in Season LogoI’m also sending this off to Ren Behan for Simple and in Season – which this recipe most definitely is.

 

 

Extra Veg LogoThere is a lot of leaves in this pesto but I doubt any fussy eaters would notice, so I’m sending it off to Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Michelle at Utterly Scrummy Food for Families for Extra Veg.

 

Other pesto recipes you might like:

I use the Optimum 9200A for smoothies, spreads, sauces and even chocolate making. The post contains affiliate links. Buying through a link will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission. This helps keep Tin and Thyme blythe and blogging. Opinions are, as always, my own.

Comments

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th June 2015

      These two are both annuals that just appear all over our veg beds. Most gardeners would pull them up and stick them in the compost – we eat them because we haven’t got much else šŸ˜‰

      But it would be a shame to throw them away, because they are very tasty and I expect have all sorts of good things in them.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th June 2015

      Thank you Angie. I’ve just taken some photos of both weeds and will add them to my post when I get a chance.

  1. Leave a Reply

    Sus @ roughmeasures
    16th June 2015

    what an interesting recipe! I love that you’ve used something that most people would just through out. Might see if my mum has any in her garden! Thanks for linking up my pesto šŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th June 2015

      Thanks Sus, there’s something really satisfying about eating ‘food for free’.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs
    16th June 2015

    Is it really bad if I admit I’ve never heard of fat hen or chickweed before?! This looks delicious though – very healthy. I’ll have to hunt some down šŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      16th June 2015

      Thanks Emma, I’m going to add some pics of the plants to my post when I get five minutes.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th June 2015

      I’ve put pictures of them both up on the post now Nayna – might help!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Andrea @ The Petite Cook
    17th June 2015

    This pesto is incredible! Love the ingredients and the bright green result! I will surely make it ( I’m one of those pesto-addicters) šŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing my Rocket pesto and Broccoli pesto recipes!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th June 2015

      Thank you Andrea, it makes a nice change and is truly delicious. And like you, I love the vibrancy of it.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th June 2015

      If you have a garden or allotment Jo, they are probably lurking around somewhere šŸ˜‰

  4. Leave a Reply

    Helen
    17th June 2015

    This looks great! None of these plants to be seen in my garden though šŸ™
    Maybe I’ll have to start planting ‘weeds’!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th June 2015

      I’m really grateful for the weeds Helen as it means we’ve got something to eat from the plot, even if we’ve not managed to plant much – always so much to do!

  5. Leave a Reply

    Janice
    17th June 2015

    Yay for free foraged food! I don’t think we have Fat Hen round our way, but there is certainly plenty of chickweed, love how you have used it.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th June 2015

      Thanks Janice. If you can be bothered to collect enough chickweed, I bet that would be fab all on it’s own.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Kayleigh
    17th June 2015

    This looks brilliant, I love pesto but have never made it before. I didn’t even know there were so many variations.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      17th June 2015

      Ah the wonders of pesto Kayleigh. Beware, if you make your own, you may never go back to the bought stuff again šŸ˜‰

  7. Leave a Reply

    Louise
    17th June 2015

    Mmm, I love pesto. This one sounds delicious šŸ˜€

    Louise x

  8. Leave a Reply

    Kath
    17th June 2015

    This is such a brilliant use of these “weeds”, I now feel guilty for feeding them to the chickens. The chickens on the other hand are looking worried.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      18th June 2015

      Ah they don’t have those names for nothing Kath – expect the chickens love them and then you get all the nutrients in the eggs. That’s my theory anyway and I’m sticking to it ;-

  9. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    18th June 2015

    I am very, very definitely in favour of eating weeds. I’ve usually got plenty. This sounds like an excellent idea. I know that ground elder is edible too and I’ve got plenty of that but I’ve tried it and I’m not convinced so far about the taste.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      18th June 2015

      Haha, yes indeed Phil. Weeds are one of the sure fire things that are guaranteed to grow.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      18th June 2015

      Ah yes, pesto is a brilliant thing, if homemade. I’ve never yet found a bought one that I like Bintu.

  10. Leave a Reply

    Kellie@foodtoglow
    18th June 2015

    I tend to stick to the ‘baby end’ of foraging but this really sounds a great idea, Choclette. I live near a bountiful woodland with loads of goodies to choose from. I’m sure if I walk only a few metres I will find what I need!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      18th June 2015

      These two greens are annuals and grow in disturbed soils Kellie, which is why they are so commonly found in gardens.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Galina V
    18th June 2015

    I confess I haven’t heard of fat hen, and probably won’t recognise it. I do use nettles and dandelion leaves in cooking, but need to expand my range. Very inspiring recipe!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      18th June 2015

      Thanks Galina, I’m not as adventurous as I should be, but these two are really tasty, especially when not much else is growing šŸ˜‰

  12. Leave a Reply

    Sarah
    19th June 2015

    This is why I love food blogs so much – learn something new everyday, I have not heard of these before. I love the name fat hen and if tastes similar to spinach…I’ll be looking in my backgarden for some!! Hehe! Very good recipe. šŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      20th June 2015

      Thanks Sarah, it’s true. I’ve learnt masses since I’ve been reading blogs. As the name implies, fat hen was traditionally fed to the chickens along with chickweed – well if it’s good enough for the chickens …!

  13. Leave a Reply

    Kate - gluten free alchemist
    20th June 2015

    I am always so impressed with your use of weeds and things growing in the garden! Using weeds scare me to death….. I wouldn’t know which are which!!
    Loving this unusual pesto recipe x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      21st June 2015

      Well I am lucky there Kate. CT is a botanist, so I’ve always got someone to check with if I’m unsure.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Nadia
    24th June 2015

    That’s very clever! I would never have thought of eating weeds, even though I don’t have a garden šŸ˜› But if they’re edible and taste good, why not? The pesto looks so delicious Choclette šŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      24th June 2015

      Thanks Nadia. I just love the vibrancy of colour the weeds have given and it tastes very good too.

  15. Leave a Reply

    shaheen
    2nd July 2015

    Lovely, I really like Fat Hen, my mother makes an awesome dal with it. I will have to drop a hint and see if you will make it again. Thank you for sharing with #EatYourGreens.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      3rd July 2015

      Ooh, that dal sounds delicious Shaheen. We use Fat Hen as a general “spinach” substitute, but I’m not sure it’s gone into a dal before.

  16. Leave a Reply

    Ren Behan
    13th July 2015

    Thanks for entering your recipe into Simple and in Season. It’s featured on my Pinterest board and the round up is now live. Hope you ate enjoying the cookbook x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      13th July 2015

      Thanks Ren and what a lovely surprise the book was. I’m really enjoying it, lots of inspiration there.

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