31 May 2013

Dandelion Pesto

The Food Under Your Feet.

1/3 c. almonds (or whatever nut you have in your pantry)
2 c. loosely packed dandelion greens
3/8 c. olive oil
3 (or more or less) cloves garlic
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/3 c. (or more or less) grated parmesan; the sort you grate yourself, not that crap in the green tube...

In a blender or food processor, grind almonds to a fine consistency but stop before it becomes butter.  Dump out of blender into a bowl and set aside.
Roughly chop dandelion greens and discard big stems.
In the blender, process greens with 1/4 c. olive oil until well broken down.  Add garlic, salt, cheese and reserved ground nuts and process until desired consistency, adding more oil as needed.

We have a blender, so this is sometimes a bit of a challenge, but if you have a food processor, then, well, man, you're golden.

Right then, a note about dandelion greens.  The older and more pointy the edges and the later in the growing season, the more bitter they will taste.  So if you are sensitive to bitter greens in a negative way, then carefully select the smallest, roundest, palest, leaves and trim the stems well.  If you have a penchant for bitter greens, then, well, chuckle quietly at those spending several hours to pick a couple of cups of greens while you haul whole plants out of the garden, tearing the leaves from the limp, conquered enemy...

A note about the almonds.  We've made this pesto three times this spring.  The first time we used pine nuts, the second time we used walnuts, the third time we used almonds (the picture is from the almond version).  Every attempt was successful and tasty.

Garlic.  We really like garlic.  Three cloves might be too much for you if you are garlic-shy.  But don't forget that garlic is really good for you... raw garlic is especially good for you... and just about everyone in the known universe is a fan of garlic to some degree, so if you smell like garlic, it can only result in you being even more popular and attractive than you already are.

The beauty of this pesto is you can customize it to your taste.  By which I mean, make it however you want, roughly following the quantities and instructions. More oil will make it thinner, different oil (like walnut oil) will give it a different flavour.  Extra cheese or less cheese or none at all will make it variously suitable for your vegan or lactose intolerant friends and family.  What the hell, even use a different green.   Toss it with pasta. Use it as a condiment or sandwich spread or dip. Use it as a base for pizza.


  1. Never tried dandelion green, will give it a shot soon..


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