Warrigal Greens Pesto

This pesto recipe uses warrigal greens, "also known as Warrigal Spinach, New Zealand Spinach or even Botany Bay greens".  They were one of the first native Australian vegetables to become popular with European settlers. Looking for ways to fight scurvy, Captain Cook encouraged his men to eat them, and many convicts owed their lives to the spinach-like plant.

Some caution should be taken with Warrigal Greens, as the leaves do contain toxic oxates, which can be harmful if consumed in large quantities. To remove the oxates blanch the leaves for 3 minutes or so, then rinse the leaves in cold water before using them in salads or for cooking." (from http://tasteaustralia.biz/bushfood/warrigal-greens/)


2 cups warrigal greens or basil or rocket (or a combinaison to taste)

1/2 cup pine nuts or any finely chopped nuts

2/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1. Steam warrigal greens until soft OR blanch rocket in boiling water.

2. Combine garlic, soft warrigal greens OR fresh basil OR blanched rocket in a processor and blend until consistency is like running cream.

3. Add nuts and cheese and then oil and salt and pepper to taste. You can add more oil if necessary.