Bespoke Bio-Regional Herbs and Weeds Pesto! 🌿
Unlock the flavors of your local ecosystem with this innovative Bio-Regional Herb and Weed Pesto. Embrace sustainability and connect with your environment by foraging wild herbs and edible weeds from your surroundings to create a unique and delicious pesto. Most of these things will grow in your back yard, between cracks in the pavement, at your local park. Fresh herbs and weeds are not only flavourful additions to your meals, but they also offer a wealth of nutritional benefits in even the smallest serving, providing essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and unique phytonutrients that support overall health.
- A mix of fresh, wild herbs and edible weeds from your garden or further afield (you can be really creative here - choose a couple leaves of each variety of plants you have available, which will differ hugely depending on your location - basils, lemon balm, nasturtium, miner's lettuce, purslane, saltbush, mallow, dandelion greens, wild garlic, nettle, chickweed, plantain, and sorrel...the list is endless!)
- Handful of nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, or almonds)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or a vegan alternative)
- Garlic cloves (to taste)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Lemon juice
Forage Responsibly: Take a leisurely walk in your backyard or local area to identify and harvest wild herbs and edible weeds that are abundant and safe for consumption. Ensure you are knowledgeable about the plants you're collecting and avoid areas with potential pollution like edges of busy roads or areas where council may have sprayed.
Wash and Prepare: Thoroughly wash the foraged herbs and weeds to remove dirt and any unwanted critters. Gently pat them dry using a clean towel or paper towels.
Toast the Nuts: In a dry pan over medium heat, lightly toast the nuts until they become fragrant and golden. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning. Set aside to cool.
Blend Ingredients: In a food processor, combine the washed herbs and weeds, toasted nuts, garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse the mixture until it forms a coarse paste. This can also easy be made using a mortar and pestle, which adds a little rustic charm.
Add Olive Oil: Gradually drizzle extra virgin olive oil into the food processor while it's running, until the pesto reaches your desired consistency. The olive oil helps bind the ingredients and adds a smooth texture.
Add Cheese and Lemon Juice: If you're using cheese, add a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a couple of cubes off a block to the mixture and pulse to combine. For a tangy kick, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavors.
Taste and Adjust: Taste the pesto and adjust the seasonings to your liking. You can add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.
Store: Transfer the pesto to clean glass jars. Top the jars with a thin layer of olive oil to create an airtight seal and prolong freshness. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for longer storage.
Enjoy: This unique pesto can be used in a variety of ways—tossed with pasta, spread on bread or crackers, drizzled over roasted vegetables, scrambled eggs, or used as a marinade for meats. Let your creativity run wild!
Note: The beauty of this recipe lies in its adaptability. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of herbs and edible weeds based on what's available in your bio-region. Each batch will be a reflection of the changing seasons and flavors of your local ecosystem.
If you're looking for a specific plant that we don't currently stock, please reach out, we are likely sourcing it already and if not, we will happily source for you!