Greek Lamb’s Quarters (Chenopodium berlandieri) Pesto

So as to not disappoint you, my readers, let me say right up front – this post is not about juicy roasted lamb legs drizzled with earthy pesto sauce, though that sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?

This post is about a weed.

That’s right, a common plant found all over the world, that many people pull out of their gardens and dump in the trash.

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If they only knew what they were missing out on! Lamb’s Quarters (scientifically known as Chenopodium berlandieri and also called goosefoot, fat-hen, bacon weed, pigweed and many other unappetizing names) is from the same genus as quinoa and beats spinach as a source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C and vitamin A. It also contains B1, B2 and oxalic acid (Source: Lambsquarters: Prince of Wild Greens The leaves are tender, like spinach, and mild, but it doesn’t leave that chalky feeling in your mouth like spinach does. However, underneath the leaves it looks rather like it’s dusted with vitamin C powder.

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Mom has a lot of this green growing in and around her garden and gathered a bunch of it for me. It’s easy to use because you can replace it with spinach in anything from smoothies and salads to creamed dishes and sauces.

I decided on a pesto to go with last night’s Mediterranean Couscous Salad.

Greek Lamb’s Quarters Pesto

  • 6 c. loosely packed lamb’s quarters
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 oz. Parmesan, grated or sliced
  • 1 oz. feta cheese (My favorite? Double Cream Mykono’s Feta made by Central Valley Creamery)
  • 1/4 -1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
  • 2 fresh sprigs Greek oregano and 2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed from stems

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Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Lamb’s quarters is drier than basil so you may need more olive oil if you like a finer consistency.

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There’s some great information to glean from the internet about Lamb’s Quarters. I found this video by Eat The Weeds that would be helpful if you want to find your own greens. I had to bookmark his site as it looks like it will be a very helpful reference on gathering wild edibles.

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Enjoy your pesto on pita bread (or Sourdough) with cream cheese, or toss it into warm, buttery pasta. Oh, and it’d also be amazing as a sauce to drizzle over a roasted leg of lamb! ;)

Recipe Review: Spicy Cantaloupe Salad

It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen Oklahoma so lush and green from all the rain we’ve been getting throughout the summer. The grass (and weeds) are growing like crazy and the mowing has to be done almost once a week.

Mom’s garden is producing some fabulous produce as well, which has been SO nice! We’re finally getting sun ripened tomatoes and they are mouthwatering delicious. One day, she arranged Anaheim peppers, tomatoes of different varieties, eggplant,  cucumbers and chili peppers on the counter and it looked so pretty I didn’t even want to move them. That feeling didn’t last long as the Anaheims got roasted, the tomatoes and a hot pepper found it’s way into fresh salsa (We could eat this by the gallon!), the eggplant to baba ganoush, and I made Roasted Pineapple, Basil and Cucumber Salad , refrigerator pickles, and tried a Cucumber, Mint and Lime Chiller with the cukes. The salad was amazing, the chiller, not so much.

My favorite recipe of the week, however, involved a very HOT black chili pepper Mom brought in from the garden. It’s purple-black on the outside and green within and it smells hot when you cut it open. I found Lan’s recipe for Spicy Cantaloupe Salad while browsing through Tastespotting and had to try this pepper out in it.

Spicy Cantaloupe Salad

photo from morestomach.com

Review Spotlight: Lan’s Spicy Cantaloupe Salad over at morestomach.com

My first thought: Fish sauce on cantaloupe? No way!

I bought my first bottle of fish sauce just to try this recipe and I’m so glad I did! The salty fish sauce with the tangy lime and the sweet cantaloupe were stupendously matched in this lovely summer salad. The chili and the ribbons of basil added color and topped off the flavors nicely.

Changes I made or will make later: I thinly sliced one whole (small) black chili pepper, instead of a diced red chili pepper the recipe calls for, and the heat intensified to almost too hot by the end of the meal (we weren’t even eating the slices of chili!), so if I was making the salad in advance, I’d wait to add the chili and, depending on the crowd, maybe not so much chili. I’m pretty sure if there were any leftovers for the next day it would have been way too hot! Alternatively, a milder chili pepper or jalapeno would probably work fine.

Health rating: 5 stars

Taste rating: 5 stars

Make it again? Oh yeah! Like, today and tomorrow and the next day!

If this recipe suites your fancy head on over to morestomach for the ingredients and instructions.

If it doesn’t suite your fancy…well, you’re missing out, but you should still head over to morestomach for other delicious looking recipes. I know I’ll be heading back for more!

Roasted Grapes and Brie with Rosemary Infused Honey on Sourdough

On Sunday afternoons I do a lot of “food surfing” to get new ideas for my weekly meal plan. Do you know how many recipes I have bookmarked?

Yeah, I don’t either, but I think it’s one of those ridiculous numbers we hardly ever hear about because no one has a Septendecillion of anything….except for me and my bookmarked recipes. Whatever the number, I have enough recipes to last me my life time, but what puzzles me is that I still keep looking and bookmarking. Is this a disease? Please tell me I’m not the only one with this behavior!

If it is a disease at least it has delightful symptoms like, brie slathered over toasted sourdough bread, topped with warm roasted grapes and drizzled with rosemary honey.

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This recipe was inspired by Aylin over at Glow Kitchen.

So easy and SO good!

Roasted Grapes and Brie with Rosemary Infused Honey on Sourdough

  • 1 bunch grapes, stemmed and washed
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 2 T. fresh rosemary leaves
  • brie
  • sourdough bread
  • fresh ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place grapes in a casserole dish, sprinkle with sea salt and toss with olive oil. Roast for 25 minutes.

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Spoon honey into a small sauce pan. Add whole rosemary leaves and heat on low until it starts to boil. Stir briskly for a minute and turn off the heat.

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Toast thinly sliced sourdough bread. Spread brie over each hot slice. Top with grapes and drizzle with the warm honey. Sprinkle with pepper and enjoy warm.

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I think I need to go make myself another slice…

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