Diary of a Foodie

Lamb's Quarter Pesto

Diary of a Foodie: Season One: Living Off the Land

Makesabout 3/4 cup
  • Active Time:15 min
  • Start to Finish:15 min
Look for wild garlic and lamb's-quarter at your local farmers market in the spring and summer.
January 2007
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 3 to 4 wild garlic cloves or 1 small regular clove, chopped (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups loosely packed lamb's-quater leaves (sometimes called wild spinach or fat hen), washed and dried
  • 3/4 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Toast nuts in a shallow baking pan in oven, stirring once or twice, until pale golden, about 10 minutes.
  • Mince chopped garlic and mash to a paste with salt using side of a large heavy knife, then transfer to a food processor. Add lamb's-quarter and pulse until finely chopped. Add cheese and toasted nuts and process until nuts are finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a thin stream through feed tube.
Cooks' notes:
  • For pasta with pesto: Put 2/3 cup pesto in a large bowl and cook 1 pound pasta until al dente, then whisk about 1/3 cup pasta cooking water into pesto. Add drained pasta to thinned pesto with salt and pepper to taste and toss well. Serve with additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
  • Pesto keeps, frozen in an airtight container, 3 months.
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