Another of the wonders of the CSA is occasionally receiving something you’ve never heard of before. Like lamb’s quarter, which I received a few weeks ago and which Wikipedia tells me is a varitey of goosefoot. Thanks, Wikipedia.
Lamb’s quarter, as it turns out, is a plant in the same family as the one that produces quinoa. It’s scientific name is chenopodium album or “white goosefoot” and it makes a mean pesto.
Pesto comes from the Italian word for “crushed,” and generally speaking a pesto is a sauce with crushed garlic and herbs. The pesto you know best is pesto alla Genovese, which is made from basil, garlic, and pine nuts, but there are tons of pesti and similar variations like pistou, gremolata, chimichurri, and persillade. Once you’ve made one pesto, you’ve made them all, and you should try experimenting with different herbs, nuts, and cheeses.
This pesto was spectacularly tasty, in large part, I suspect, to the fresh garlic we used. Fresh garlic is another item I’ve discovered through my CSA, and boy is it good. I’ve never seen it in a grocery store, but any half-decent farmer’s market should have it. Lamb’s quarter may be another matter.
But that’s just one more reason to join a CSA…
Lamb’s Quarter Pesto
2 cups lamb’s quarter, stems removed
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1. Combine first four ingredients in a food processor and begin to chop.
2. If your food processor has an opening, drizzle in the olive oil slowly as you chop. If not, add the oil in two or three parts.
3. Once smooth and combined, add in the cheese and blend to combine. Taste and make adjustments as necessary. (If in doubt, add a bit more salt.)
4. Dress cooked pasta with pesto. Stuff face.