Hello Herbstalk community! It’s a treat to be sharing one of my recipes with you today.
Pesto is one of the best herb delivery vehicles around. It also happens to be completely delicious and incredibly versatile. I’m a sucker for the old standby, basil pesto, but also love to get creative with new pesto creations (garlic scape pesto, and three herb pesto are two of my favorites). The possibilities are endless!
I recently tried my hand at dandelion pesto and the results were terrific. I used the pesto to make delicious little appetizer crostinis, but it can also be slathered on sandwiches, eaten with eggs, blended into hummus, and enjoyed straight from the jar with a spoon. It easily keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge and can be frozen for up to a year. It doesn’t get much better than that for preserving the fresh, wild food of the season.
Dandelion Pesto Ingredients:
- 1 large bunch of dandelion greens, washed and rough chopped
- ½ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (vegan substitution: nutritional yeast)
- 5 – 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- salt to taste (I like to use grey Celtic sea salt)
Directions (10 minutes):
Blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Feel free to add a dash of water if your pesto needs to be thinned.
To make the crostinis, toast slices of French bread or use crackers as the base. Spread with a thin layer of dandelion pesto, top with a slice of manchego, parmesan, or romano cheese, and warm in the oven for 10 minutes until the cheese melts.
I brought these to a dinner party with friends and they were a total hit. Even the kids were gobbling them up! And of course I couldn’t help myself from reminding everyone of the medicinal properties of dandelions while we were eating them. Once an herbalist, always an herbalist!
So, why are dandelion greens good for you? As with many foods that have a bitter flavor, they have a strong cleansing and detoxifying action in the body. In addition, dandelion is high in minerals, such as potassium and calcium. It helps the liquids of the body move freely, which can release blockages and aid in flushing toxins out of the system. In particular, it supports the liver, kidneys, and bladder – all of which can benefit from a spring-cleaning this time of year.
After a cold winter of eating sturdy, nourishing root vegetables and heavy, warming dishes, it’s time to lighten up. Our bodies start to crave spring greens, fresh food, and smaller meals. And it’s important to listen to the body and follow these clues about what to eat.
Spring greens are one of the healthiest foods after a cold and sluggish winter. They offer a mega-burst of nutrients, cleanse the body, and are energetically lightening. Eating dandelion is a gentle and natural way to invite the benefits of detoxification and the energetics of spring into your life.
If you’re looking for even more dandelion, try my garlicky dandelion greens + farmers egg. Enjoy!