Backyard Pesto

Some awesome post-Apocalypse skills went into this little jar of green, nutritious delight.

A jar of backyard pesto!

First, allow me to rebuff the pesto purists (and Apple Mac’s internal dictionary) by telling you that pesto does not require basil and pine nuts.

This is a lie told to you by capitalist grey squirrels who pay red squirrels peanuts to harvest their pine nuts and then sell the surplus at extortionate prices to finance pine tree plantations in China, which is where squirrels plan to move because they heard China has less cats and dogs per capita than elsewhere.

There is a similar story for basil and Japanese Beetles, but I shan’t go into details.

Pesto requires a green leaf, a nut and oil. Garlic, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese can all be added for flavour. You can use basil, cilantro, parsley, spinach, kale – anything really, even the edible weeds you find in your backgarden:

It’s early february and it’s been cold for weeks. My salad greens are creeping pathetically into life in my greenhouse, but they keep complaining about the nighttime lows. They’re spoilt. You don’t hear the weeds complaining about a lack of expensive potting soil, cold weather and poor sunshine. Outside is where the tough kids grow.

The collection of wild greens

I added four cloves of garlic (which would be extremely suitable pesto if your apocalypse happened to be vampire induced). And I was lucky enough to have a friend bring over a large bag of unshelled pecans from her neighbour’s tree.


Violet leaves are incredibly nutritious. Chickweed is full of vitamins and minerals. Wood Sorrel has a pleasant sour taste and the wild onion could be shop-bought chives. This herbaceous medley was all growing within 10ft of my house, in Winter!


Note: not all plants are edible. It’d be a crying shame to survive the apocalypse and then poison yourself with a fox-glove pesto…

3 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve been trying pesto with all kinds of greens this summer, radish leaves, collard greens, garlic scapes but none of these. Excited to forage for these and make this.

    1. I didn’t post a recipe as such because I just went out with a pair of scissors and clipped what I came across. Chickweed did make up the bulk of it though. Good luck 🙂

      1. I’m not really a recipe person most of the time. The photos were the perfect inspiration.

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