Weed pesto and beans

It was a lovely day so we hopped over to the Botanic Gardens for a stroll and to check out their open day in the Demonstration Garden. I’ve always liked the idea of the Demonstration Garden – a suitable place for gatherings of lefty greenish people to demonstrate against all the many things that need to be demonstrated against. But it’s not a place for that kind of gathering. Instead it is where the good people of the Botanic Gardens demonstrate how to grow vegetables. I like it because I reckon if something can grow there, then it ought to able to grow in my garden too. Today there were lots of things popping up: peas, lettuce, beans, spinach. Time to get home and get some more seeds in the ground, I thought. I was delayed by another kind of demonstration: how to eat weeds. They had a table with samples of nettle tea (yuck – almost as bad as chamomile) but also weed pesto. Now that was good – their pesto was made from nettles, dandelions, wild garlic and some other bits and pieces and all smashed together with olive oil and sunflower seeds. We dashed home to try our own. I don’t have wild garlic in the garden but I made a quick collection of nettles, dandelions, hairy bittercress, garlic chives, whizzed it all up with a whizzer (they said you have to do that to get rid of the sting from the nettles) and added some olive oil and one clove of actual garlic as the chives weren’t strong enough. It tasted rather good. So from now on I am going to try and think positively about the dandelions and the hairy bittercress and occasionally have them on toast. I’ve always valued the nettles for their compost enhancing properties but I’ll keep some to eat too.Why bother with basil when you get have all this in your pesto without any effort at all?

Then I sowed some courgette seeds, some more salads, peas and broad beans. And I watched a bumblebee feasting on my overwintered broad bean flowers. Almost a perfect day.WP_20160416_002

 

8 thoughts on “Weed pesto and beans

  1. Not fair! You’re in Scotland and have lovely broad bean flowers – I’m in the ‘sunny’ South with none at all yet…Like the pesto idea and I think I can lay my mitts on all those ingredients. Himself is about to be experimented on!

    1. well they didn’t sting this time – I think the thing is to whizz them enough so that the bits are small enough , or maybe its to do with the proportion of nettles to dandelions- a bit risky though so maybe safer cooking them for soup !

      1. I thought I’d check and did a quick google search on eating raw nettles – lots of crazy ideas if you look! But there does seem to be a consensus that whizzing them up gets rid of the sting – or, to be on the safe side, blanch in boiling water and then cool before using – I don’t want to be giving risky advice to all my readers.

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