Purslane Pesto with Goat Cheese

purslane pestoWhat do you get when you combine goat cheese, toasted walnuts, and a bunch of wild greens collected from the backyard? A deliciously satisfying meal.

It was quite hot the other day and I was feeling lazy. I didn’t have anything planned for dinner, but also didn’t feel like getting in a hot car and driving to the grocery store. And don’t even get me started on eating out. It’s almost always a disappointment. No, I just wanted to fix a simple meal that didn’t involve heating up the oven and that I could eat on the deck, dressed in my gardening clothes, accompanied by a glass of wine.

It was the perfect occasion for pasta and pesto, but the basil plants are apparently on strike this year and there were no pine nuts in the cupboard, so I became creative. Pesto is basically a combination of a green, cheese, and nuts. I foraged around the yard for some purslane, toasted some walnuts, and added a log of goat cheese. It was a hit, and there was enough left over to freeze for later.


  • 3 1/2 cups chopped purslane leaves and stems (approx. 1/2 lb.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp grated lemon peel
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt to taste

Steam the purslane until bright green and tender, about 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave

Toast walnuts for 5 minutes in a dry skillet over medium heat.

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until well combined. Let sit for up to 1 hour before serving. Makes about 2 cups of pesto.

Serve tossed with cooked pasta topped with Kalamata olives.

Interested in growing your own purslane? See my edible weed post here.

by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at SeedToPantry.com. Find her professional food writing info at PenandProvisions.com.

July 17, 2013

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  1. Simone

    This sounds really interesting. I love purslane and pesto, and combining them is a big win in my mind. However I am not able to digest cheese, so would brewers yeast be able to sub in for the goat cheese?

    • admin

      Simone, I am not really sure. The brewer’s yeast wouldn’t melt when combined with hot pasta like the goat cheese does. But I know people make “cheese” sauces from brewer’s yeast so it’s possible. You could also just add all the separate ingredients to pasta. It wouldn’t be pesto, but you would still have the flavors.


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