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The Weed Forager's Handbook: A Guide to Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Australia

Tag: chickweed

Chickweed and Cashew Pesto

3 cups of firmly-compressed chickweed tops
3/4 cup raw cashews
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste – probably about ½ a teaspoon pepper

  1. Chop your chickweed across the stem so that it ends up in sections no more than 2cm long.
  2. Put one cup of the chickweed into a blender along with the oil, vinegar and lemon juice. Add about a tablespoon of water and blend until you have a consistent texture (but not until smooth). If it’s not happening add a little more water or oil (very gradually).
    Tip: You’ll need to stop the blender every few seconds, take the lid off and give everything a stir. This stops you ending up with puree on the bottom and unblended leaves sitting on top.
  3. Add the garlic and the cashews, then give the blender a few pulses until they break up very roughly.
  4. Add the rest of the chickweed, and the salt and pepper. Blend until all the chickweed is broken down, but stop while you still have a nice chunky pesto – see the TIP in step 2. If it still won’t blend, add a dash more of whichever of the liquids your taste-buds tell you is missing.

Chickweed Quinoa Salad

2 cups of cooked quinoa
2 medium carrots, cut into 1cm slices and steamed until tender
1 cup of gently-compressed chickweed tops
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt to taste – probably about a teaspoon
generous pepper
½ cup almonds

  1. Roast the almonds until nicely browned (you can do this over a low heat in a frypan, or on a baking tray in a low oven) then allow them to completely cool. It’s nice to chop them in half first as they roast more evenly AND you’ll be sure to get some in every mouthful.
  2. Chop the chickweed finely across the grain (across the stem).
  3. Make sure the carrots and quinoa are fully cooled, then mix all the ingredients except the almonds together thoroughly. Add the almonds just before eating to maintain maximum crunch.

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