I love to eat my weeds. And one of my favorite weeds is Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium album), aka quelites, wild spinach, or fat hen/poulet gras. I let Lamb’s Quarters go to seed all over my garden. Then I graze the delicious greens all spring and summer.
I eat them raw, steamed, sauteed, in omelets, tacos, stews, salads -every which way but dessert. Favorite recipes are in tacos (fresh local tortillas filled with quelites, goat cheese, avocado and homemade chile relish. mmmm.) or pasta or salad. I eat a lot of Lamb’s Quarters.
They’re related to quinoa and chard, and you can eat the millions of seeds that form if you let them, but I leave those for the birds which will snack on them all winter and early spring. They’re more nutritious than spinach and will grow all by themselves. Here is a recipe for a mild wild greens pesto using lamb’s quarters. This is another kitchen sink recipe, using what I had in the garden and in the pantry.
Wild Greens Pesto (makes a good 2 cups worth)
4 cups packed lamb’s quarters (about 6oz)
15 garlic scapes (about 3 ounces)
1 cup loosely packed perennial arugula or wild mustard greens or basil or other spicy herbs (about an ounce)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup nuts, finely chopped (pine nuts or walnuts are favorites)
1 cup parmesan, grated (I used a zester. A grater will use more cheese per cup.)
juice of half a lemon, optional
salt as needed
Blend nuts in food processor. Remove to a bowl. Add all ingredients and blend until pureed. Adjust seasoning as desired, adding more cheese or garlic or lemon juice or salt. This is a mild pesto, the spiciness will depend on the arugula, scapes or other spicy wild herbs. Serve with goat cheese and freshly baked bread or use in pasta or as a condiment to a milder soup. This freezes well and is a great way to store fresh wild greens for later use. Enjoy! – Jen