A Yarden Pesto

Eat something wild everyday, or at least eat something Green everyday! It’s a simple, powerful way to do something good for ourselves, to take care.

Yarden is the combo of foraging from the yard and harvesting from the garden, and it makes the best pesto! A bit of wild flavor mixed with the familiar. Extra rich in nutrients.

Meticulously gather the plants you want to incorporate. Only take from areas that don’t potentially have dog pee or vehicle exhaust or herbicide on them. And look at each leaf you pick before you put it in your basket- does it have bugs to shake off? Bits of other dried plant material? Dirt? Get the greens as clean as you can while you are harvesting. It makes for such a nicer experience once you get to the kitchen.

Olive Oil- 1/2 cup
Walnuts (or nut of choice)- 1/2 cup
Greens- 4 or 5 cups, rinsed
Parmesan or Brewer’s Yeast- 1/4 cup
Lemon or Vinegar- 3 T
Garlic- 2-3 cloves
Salt -1/2 teaspoon
The Steps:
First, add the oil to blender so there is liquid in the bottom to better help blend up the fibers of the fresh greens.
Then add your nuts, brewer’s yeast, lemon, garlic and salt. Blend.
Lastly, add your greens. Blend until pesto consistency.
If you want it thicker, add more greens. Thinner, slowly drizzle in more oil and lemon.

In making Yarden Pesto, it is good to have a base herb (or herbs) whose flavor you really like, making up half the greens. The remaining greens can be a mix of the weeds, in proportion to the flavors and texture your are going for. For example, with this blend, I used 2 cups parsley, a lot of oxeye daisy and wild mustard and then just a leaf or two or three of the other herbs until I got 5 cups total greens.

This is such a fun pesto to make spring thru fall, so you can bring the plants into your diet that are growing well at that particular time. It keeps me in tune with the season’s growth. In spring, I use a lot of dandelion and violet but in late summer, those plants are too tough so I only use a leaf or two. Look for tender new growth when foraging for the greens. Your plants will be different depending on where you live but I bet there will be some cross-over with these cosmopolitan herbs!

Plants in this Yarden Pesto were:


Oxeye Daisy

Wild Mustard


Lamb’s Quarters





Gallant Soldier

Chameleon Plant


Ground Ivy

Wood Sorrel

Evening Primrose








I often serve up these wild pestos in my workshops- another way to grow wild! Have fun making your own!