Dandelion Greens Pesto
Dandelions are just ONE of the edible weeds in your yard. Yes, you can eat them! (I call that gardeners revenge) You can steam the greens or make a salad, make jelly from the flowers or tea from the roots, but today we’re talking Dandelion Greens Pesto! One of the best things about dandelions is that they’re free for the picking, I’ve got a few tips below about picking them successfully, so keep reading. This fabulous Dandelion Greens Pesto recipe is so easy to make you can whip it up in under ten minutes. Quick, fast, free food straight from your yard? Yes, you can with Dandelion Greens Pesto.
Greens for free.
We saw dandelion greens for sale in Europe, I know, people BUY them. They are truly on the menu in Europe and available for sale in markets. Why don’t we eat them here? Well, the truth is we do eat them here. We just don’t hear about too much. Somewhere along the way, a good weed patch was regarded as something bad, that needs to be poisoned. But if you can get past the idea that weeds are bad, well then you’ve got a patch of greens you can pick from for free!
Tips for Picking Dandelions
You might be new to foraging or picking weeds. I have a couple tips for you to make it easier:
- find a patch that hasn’t been sprayed with weed killer
- this patch should also be outside of animal waste areas and/or foot traffic areas
- the smaller the leaves the better for picking greens, so find new plants whenever you can
- a lot of books say “only pick in the spring to get small leaves” BUT every flower that goes to seed can make 150 new plants, so in my opinion, there are always new leaves out there
You’ll notice in my recipe that I use toasted walnuts for my Dandelion Greens Pesto recipe instead of pine nuts. I found pine nuts to be a little overpowering for dandelion greens. You can absolutely use pine nuts if you have them and you love them but walnuts will work just fine. They’re more affordable too, which is nice on the wallet. I also think you can use any nut you happen to have on hand, so try almonds or macadamias or cashews for a little different flavor.
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup small dandelion leaves, pick them clean, wash and let them dry
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil, I usually drizzle in until it's the consistency I want
- dry roast the walnuts in a skillet until lightly toasted
- allow to cool
- add the chopped walnuts, greens, parmesan and garlic to the bowl of a food processor
- pulse unitl well chopped and combine
- scrape down the food processor bowl
- with the processor running, drizzle in the olive oil until the desired consistency has been achieved
- If I'm using this sauce on pasta I make it thicker, with a little less oil
- if I using it on an antipasto platter or as a topping for pita chips I make it thinner with more oil--the choice is up to you
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