How Will You Serve Your Hairy Bittercress Pesto?

The Sunlight Café, within the Cowane Centre Stirling, hosted the 'Seeds of Spring' event, kick-starting the growing year by inviting local volunteers to get their hands dirty and forage for their lunch. 

Sarah from Grow Forth Team at Forth Environment Link shares a few facts: "Sow a row of carrots between your peas and onions; they don’t do well together. Onions, however, are a great companion for carrots - they keep the carrot fly away!" Great advice!

"I love exploring the edible landscape!"...we love your enthusiasm, Sarah!

Preparing plots, planning & planting; getting seeds and sets in the ground, including beans, carrots and onions. Everyone rolled their sleeves up and mucked in.

Working up an appetite, thoughts were firmly on the half-time cake & coffee... 

But first Sarah needed some weeding doing.

The raised beds & pots at the Cowane Centre were overgrown with delicate rosettes of hairy bittercress; a little weed with an unwieldy name.

Roots and woody stalks banished to the compost heap, the fresh, green edible tips were saved, the bags were soon overflowing, and the foragers headed in to the cafe to prepare lunch.

A member of the mustard family, bittercress has a mild, peppery flavour, ideal in salads and eggy sandwiches. Sarah’s plan was to blitz it up with oil, ground almonds, garlic and lemon juice - you could use pine nuts or Parmesan.

Hey Pesto!...Weeds adding a culinary kick in the kitchen!

We asked Sarah how much garlic, lemon juice and ground nuts we should add: "There’s ro recipe, add as much as you like," she tells us. "Just try as you go, and stop when it tastes good." Top tip, thanks Sarah!

What can you serve it with? Try a dollop on your pasta; drizzle over a leafy salad, top a spicy taco, or simply scoop up with a crunchy celery stick; ‘weed’ never run out of serving suggestions!

 Sarah and the Grow Forth Team have heaps more tips to share. Keep an eye on their What’s On page: no excuses, get sowing, get growing, get foraging!

If you would like to know more about food and growing projects in Stirling, contact the Grow Forth Team. info@forthenvironmentlink.org or call 01786 449215