Dandelion Green Pesto

July 20th, 2013


This week my CSA Fresh Box came with a generous batch of dandelion greens, an unusual but very nutritious leafy green.   Dandelion greens are a good source of dietary fiber and high in vitamins A, B6, and C, and the minerals copper, phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium!  You can enjoy them raw in a salad or smoothie or sautéed with garlic and some red pepper flakes or whipped into a pesto!  When most people think of pesto they think of basil, but pesto can actually be made with almost any leafy green, nut and cheese combo.  Dandelion greens are a bit bitter, but the combination of toasted pine nuts, fresh garlic and Parmesan cheese help balance out the flavors.


Start by toasting the pine nuts

pine nuts


Finely mince the garlic and process with the pine nuts in the food processor.



Add the dandelion greens, lemon juice, cheese and sea salt and process until combined (the pesto will be thick at this point)


Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until smooth.



Dandelion Pesto

6 tablespoons pine nuts
, lightly toasted

3 garlic gloves, peeled and minced

1 bunch dandelion greens (about 2-3 cups, loosely packed)

2 ounces freshly grated parmesan

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2-cup extra-virgin olive oil

1-teaspoon sea salt


Pulse the garlic and pine nuts together in the bowl of a food processor until very finely chopped.

Add dandelion greens, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and sea salt and process continuously until combined.  Occasionally stop the processor to scrape down the sides of the bowl. (The pesto will be very thick at this point).

With the blade running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth.  Tastes and add more salt if necessary.  If the pesto is too thick, you can thin it with more olive oil or water.

This is delicious over chicken, fish or tofu, mixed into whole wheat pasta or quinoa or spread over pizza and topped with fresh tomatoes.  You can store it in the refrigerator for four days or 2 months in the freezer.

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