Making dandelion pesto…
I never knew you could actually eat dandelion leaves until recently. There are a load in my garden so following a simple recipe I decided to put these weeds to good use and make some pesto pasta.
First, all you need to do is go and pick some dandelions. Most people are unaware that all parts of the plant are edible and some have medical uses. The roots contain starch-like substances that help balance blood sugar levels and the flowers are more commonly known for their use in wine, but they can also make a tasty addition to salad.
I found myself foraging in my garden for this free food. Once I had two handfuls I started making my pesto. Here is the recipe I followed:
I roughly used about two handfuls of cleaned dandelion leaves (washed with cold water), about a cup of olive oil, a clove of garlic, 40g of pine nuts and a sprinkling of salt plus a heavy dose of Parmesan (you can never have too much cheese!).
I put about half of the dandelions in a food processor and added some olive oil then I mixed it all together for a few minutes. Next up I added the rest of the leaves until they were nicely chopped up. While my leaves were blending I grabbed some garlic and pine nuts and put them in the mix. I added Parmesan too until it was all smoothed together like a puree. At this stage it is good to taste what you are making, and then add more salt or oil to taste. You can tell when it is ready by the texture, it will look like pesto should.
Once it was ready, I cooked up some pasta and added some home grown tomatoes. The perfect dinner. The pesto tastes slightly lighter than a basil one and the dandelion have a slight sweetness to them. It is a very fresh and tasty meal. As for storage, it can be refrigerated in a jar for up to four days. The best thing about this recipe is that it takes no time at all and hardly costs a thing!