Chickweed/Yard Weeds/Ramps Pesto

Again, I’m not much for measuring, so I’ve taken these proportions from a quick internet pesto recipe search:

4 cups greens (see below)

½ cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves (if you’re using ramps or other alliums, obvi skip this’n)

⅓ cup nuts (a good friend of mine recommended peanuts [thx MRD] or you can use pine nuts, pepitas, anything nutty)

1 tsp salt

Cheese to taste (or nooch, nutritional yeast - not only is this vegan-friendly, but I think it improves shelf life and it takes less of it for the taste)

Lemon juice as desired.

** greens = chickweed, lambs quarters, ramp leaves, baby kale, carrot tops, dandelion (sparingly or blanched first), volunteer onions in the wrong place, or whatever you’ve got poking up in your garden. I use almost 100% ramp leaves sometimes as it’s my favorite preservation, but damn it’s potent. Get to know your greens and how much you can use of each. You can use a few drops of lemon juice to brighten and counteract the bitterness of some greens like dandelion.

* do NOT use unfamiliar plants, and know your harmful lookalikes!!! Please learn your foraging techniques from a trusted and ethical source.

Rinse rinse rinse your greens! I like to put them in a way bigger bowl of water and give them a dunk and shake under the water, as well as a spray/rinse.

Give them a rough chop. Start with the greens and oil in a blender (or molcajete if you want), and add the remaining ingredients. I do tend to add items in that order since they’re mostly to-taste for me.

For storage, I put pesto in small containers, cover it over with more olive oil, and keep it in the fridge. I skim off the extra oil when I’m ready to use and it lasts a loooong time. Or you can freeze it into cubes and it will last even longer.

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