Sunday, 21 April 2013

Ground Elder Pesto

Today was the perfect day for picking the ground elder. Everything in the garden here in Norfolk seems to be nearly a month behind and it's only now that the tender young shoots of ground elder are plentiful enough to make pesto. Introduced by the Romans along with rabbits, the strigil and Gina Lollobrigida; ground elder is usually regarded as a curse by most gardeners, but I have to ask myself, if the Romans brought it here as a food stuff there has to be something in it worth eating.

The best parts of the plant to pick are the really young vivid green shoots, still shiny before they have fully stretched out leaves.

For this pesto you will need,

50g of young ground elder shoots
100g of pine nuts
80g of grated parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic
75ml of good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Begin by placing all the ingredients apart from the olive oil into a food processor and process until you have a dark green thick paste. dribble in olive oil until you are happy with the consistency.

Qatar brings the number up to 95! welcome.

This pesto keeps well in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks. I like to use it as a spread when making sandwiches, it's also really good to use with home made gnocchi.


  1. I don't think we get ground elder here Tobi, otherwise I would be out there rootling around trying to make this lovely pesto out of it. We do have nettles though so they might have to do ;)

  2. Another good thing about Tasmania, no ground elder. The reason I say that is that ground elder, like bindweed, is a devil to get rid of. Now when it comes to using nettles, I suspect they are best used in a cooked form, either in soup or in my gruyere and nettle tart, I think using them raw would not work so well. Parsley works well in pesto in which case you could substitute toasted walnuts for the pine nuts. I discovered today that spreading this pesto onto toast to be topped with poached eggs is also very good. Best wishes, Tôbi