Forest To Fork; Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto - Photo via Wit and Vinegar

Dandelion Pesto - Photo via Wit and Vinegar

Dandelion greens? We all know it's a weed - But that 'weed' makes a delicious (and extremely healthy) pesto. Because dandelion leaves are tougher than basil, use the food processor to make this version of pesto. A blender would work as well.

This makes quite a bit and you can freeze whatever you don’t use, or cut the recipe in half.

12 ounces (350g) washed and cleaned dandelion leaves

1 cup (250ml) olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled

6 tablespoons (40g) pine nuts, lightly toasted

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

2 1/2 ounces (70g) Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

Dandelion Pesto - Photo via Wit and Vinegar

Dandelion Pesto - Photo via Wit and Vinegar

Put about one-third of the dandelion greens in the food processor or blender with the olive oil and chop for a minute, scraping down the sides. Add the remaining dandelion greens in two batches, until they’re all finely chopped up.

Add the garlic cloves, pine nuts, salt, and Parmesan, and process until everything is a smooth puree.

Dandelion Pesto - Photo via Wit and Vinegar

Dandelion Pesto - Photo via Wit and Vinegar

Taste, and add more salt if necessary. If it’s too thick, you can thin it with more olive oil or water.

Storage: The pesto can be refrigerated in a jar for up to four days. The top may darken, which is normal. You can pour a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent that. It can also be frozen for up to two months.

Dandelion Pesto - Photo via Wit and Vinegar

Dandelion Pesto - Photo via Wit and Vinegar

Ideas for Dandelion Pesto

-Spread over pizza with cooked potatoes slices, then baked.

-Smeared on crostini over a layer of fresh spreadable cheese.

-Use to dress potato salad.

-Toss with whole wheat pasta with chicken or roasted vegetables. Reserve a bit of the pasta cooking liquid to help smooth the sauce over the hot noodles. (I add a knob of butter, too, which helps smooth it out. Although pesto purists wouldn’t do that.)

This recipe is by David Lebovitz via www.davidlebovitz.com