Dandelion pesto is one of my favorite ways to use dandelion greens. I get a head start on wild harvesting dandelions thanks to the high tunnel. While the dandelions outside are still dormant under the snow the “weed” dandelions that managed to grow in the tunnel are weeks ahead.
Thanks to Eaters Collective on Unsplash for the pasta salad photo. I’m still learning how to use all of the settings on my new camera. Hideous doesn’t describe the photos I took of my pasta salad. I’m not a food photographer by any means. It’s an art, and that’s not an art I have gotten good at yet.
Wild Harvesting Dandelion Greens
Dandelion pesto should be made with greens that are harvested before the flowers open. I prefer mine before the flower even forms. The earlier the better. If you wait until the flowers are open the greens are likely to be too bitter to use. In that case, pick the flowers and make Dandelion Flower Fritters. There’s a lot you can do with dandelions!
Always wild harvest in safe areas. If you have pets be sure they aren’t using the area as a bathroom. Avoid yards that are sprayed with pesticides. Stay a safe distance off the road to avoid accidents and pollution. Ask for permission before cutting dandelion greens from someone else’s property. It’s nice to share some of your dandelion pesto with the people who let you harvest from their yard.
Health Benefits of Dandelions
Dandelions are a health food. Did you know this? The greens provide iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They have vitamins A, B, C, E and K. They’re full of fiber, might lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and lots more.
Dandelion Pesto – Wild Harvesting in Spring
- 6 cups dandelion greens washed and dried
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese chopped into 1/4″ pieces
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
- Place the dandelion greens and garlic in a food processor. Blend on pulse until 50% processed, scraping the sides as needed.
- When the greens and garlic are 50% done, continue to process and pour in the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, walnuts and Parmesan cheese.