Nordic Pesto

Wondering what to do about all those weeds? Well, here’s the solution – make your own pesto with them! In Denmark we’re plagued by Ground-Elder (skvalderkål) in the spring and summer time. However, after I (or rather my better half) discovered this pesto recipe, it has taken on a whole new meaning for us. You might be skeptical, but I tell you, it tastes great! So get those gardening gloves on and get weeding!

50 young ground-elder (skvalderkål) shoots (the young ones taste best)
100 g parmesan cheese (DK foodies, you could also try using Stenalt firm goat’s cheese, it’s excellent)
100 g hazelnuts
1 spring onion (if you want more of a garlic flavour, use ramsons (ramsløg) or simply garlic)
200-300 ml rapeseed or olive oil
Salt and pepper

Rinse the ground-elder, grate the cheese and mix everything in a blender. Add oil as appropriate. Season with salt and pepper (salt will mellow the slight bitterness of the ground-elder).


  1. Neil
    Posted May 1, 2010 at 10:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting. I wage an annual battle with ground elder (which I am winning, I think). I’ve always known that it is edible but frankly, I’ve been so sick of the sight of the damn weed that I’ve been reluctant to let it into my kitchen.

    Meanwhile, remind me to give you my top secret rhubarb crumble recipe now that the season is here. It is fab!

    • Posted May 2, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’ve been told that if you get the worst of it now and then attack it again at mid-summer, then you don’t need to worry about it for the rest of the summer. (Unless you like the pesto, then you might want to let it run rampant ;-)

      Love rhubarb, so bring on the recipe!

  2. Neil
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink | Reply

    The recipe is simplicity itself but it has a secret ingredient that really makes it – Stones’s Ginger Wine. Pick up a bottle next time you’re passing through airport shopping as it works a treat with all rhubarb dishes!

    So, 10 sticks of rhubarb cut into chunks about 7cm long, put into your pie/crumble dish. Sprinkle on 8 tablespoons sugar and 4 tablespoons Stone’s Ginger Wine. Bake in a moderate oven for 10 mins. whilst making your favorite crumble mix. Mine is 110g butter, 110g sugar, 180g flour and a pinch of salt whizzed in the processor.

    Add a teaspoon of ground ginger to your rhubarb mix and stir. I’ve also discovered that a layer of fresh blackberries added now really works well – about 100g, if it takes your fancy. Add your crumble mix – my theory is that crumble toppings should not be too think as it is imperative that the fruity mixture should bubble up through the topping!

    Bake for somewhere between 1/2 and 1 hour.


    I bought all the rhubarb in the supermarket yesterday so have a rhubarb ice cream churning in the machine as I type….

    • Posted May 2, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, sounds yum! I’ll definitely try it out and will look for the ginger wine on my travels home tomorrow.

    • Posted June 9, 2010 at 7:45 am | Permalink | Reply

      Am thinking of making your rhubarb crumble this weekend. Do you know if it’s possible to get the ginger wine in DK? We have a wine shop near our house, maybe I should ask there…

      • neil
        Posted June 9, 2010 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        are you here tomorrow? If so, I’ll bring you some – god knows we’ve got entough to last for years!

    • Posted June 9, 2010 at 7:54 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! Have to work from home tomorrow & Friday though. I’ll try Holte Vinlager and if I’ve no luck I think I’ll have to make a special trip to the office. Will keep you posted ;-)

      • neil
        Posted June 9, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        You can get it at Abigails: although probably best to ring and check first. Almost certainly Holte won’t have it (yet to find anything special in there)

    • Posted June 9, 2010 at 8:18 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, haven’t been there for a while! (I might just have to get myself one of those spider catchers as well…)

    • Posted June 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Made the crumble yesterday and it was really yummy. Will post it here soon.

      • Neil
        Posted June 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        Cool! My kids love it as well!

      • Posted June 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Hope you don’t mind I changed the quantities a bit in the recipe – was making it for us + guests ;-)

  3. Donna
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 1:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very interesting Kerry! Dont think we have that weed here but I’ll be out and about now checking all the green stuff thats running rampant!

  4. Ingvill
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This is so cool Kerry! I’m just discovering both your blogs and find lots of inspiration!

    Now I cannot wait to get back to Denmark and search for weeds in the summerhouse garden :-) Love your pictures – do come and visit and we can make it over to nearby Fuglebjerggaard for ideas…


    • Posted May 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m sure there will be lots waiting for you, Ingvill ;-) When are you hitting DK this summer? Would love to catch up!

  5. Lina
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Delicious! I had to tell John to put a little less on his bread because he was using spoon full (many) at one time. I made it with the goat cheese and I used olive oil as it’s health wise better for you. Tomorrow I’m trying the cheese caper thingy. Yummy!

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