Fat hen and chickweed pesto makes the most of your garden weeds. It’s really tasty and you can use it on pasta, spread on bread or crackers or diluted with a little olive oil as a salad dressing.
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 fat hen and chickweed pesto.
Eat Your Weeds
Fat Hen is one of those soft and non-bitter greens which can be substituted for spinach whilst chickweed makes a tasty salad leaf. We forage both of these weeds down on our plot, where they grow in great perfusion. They are entirely edible, but at their best when young.
Fat Hen and Chickweed Pesto
Instead of garlic, I used garlic scapes instead as that’s what we have growing at this time of year. Apart from the greens, I used the classic ingredients of pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. As I’m vegetarian I generally 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.
Having said that, there are now really good Parmesan-like cheeses which are vegetarian. So I now tend to use those instead. And you can always substitute with a different type of vegetarian hard cheese if you like.
To make the fat hen and chickweed 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 £80 discount, so now is a good time to buy. Just click on the link above, or the one in my sidebar.
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’s 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 cheese for Cheddar cheese.
Other Pesto Recipes You Might Like
- Broccoli pesto via The Petite Cook
- Carrot top pistou (vegan) via Tin and Thyme
- Kale and walnut pesto via Supper in the Suburbs
- Rocket pesto via The Petite Cook
- Watercress pesto via Tin and Thyme
- Wild garlic pesto two ways via Tin and Thyme
For more dip and spread ideas, you’ll find plenty in my delicious dips and spreads Pinterest board.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this fat hen and chickweed pesto, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more recipes using foraged ingredients, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Garden Pesto. PIN IT.
Fat Hen and Chickweed Pesto – The Recipe
Fat Hen & Chickweed Pesto
- 100 g fat hen and chickweed
- 75 g pine nuts
- 1-2 cloves garlic (I've used a small bunch of garlic scapes instead)
- 75 g Parmesan cheese – cut into chunks (I use a vegetarian version)
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and pulse until the mixture is blended to a not quite smooth paste.
- Scrape into two sterilised jars, seal and keep in the fridge until needed.
I am linking garden weed pesto to Pasta Please which is hosted, this month, by Lucy over at Baking Queen 74. This monthly challenge originates with Jac from Tinned Tomatoes.
Containing 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.
I’m also sending this off to Ren Behan for Simple and in Season – which this recipe most definitely is.
There’s a lot of leaves in this fat hen and chickweed pesto, but I doubt any fussy eaters would notice. So I’m sending it off to Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy Food for Families for Extra Veg.
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 blithe and blogging. Opinions are, as always, my own.