Love for Food + Summer

Dandelion Pesto

Now that the Farmer's Market is in full swing I have been stocking up on hard to find produce. One of the items new to me this year is dandelion greens. Dandelion greens are suppose to be one of the healthiest things you can eat. The only problem is they are extremely bitter. For a few weeks I tried to eat them raw in salad, but it was a bit too much for me.

I found this recipe for dandelion pesto from David Lebovitz's blog and decided to test it out. I was worried it would still be bitter since the greens would not be cooked. The biggest hassle in making this was cleaning and chopping the greens. Once the greens are clean, all you have to do it put everything in the food processor and blend. I was happy with the taste the bitter is a lot more palatable with the addition of cheese and garlic.

This recipe does cost a lot to make initially. I wanted to use the best quality ingredients, and bought the best cheese, and olive oil. Pine nuts are also pretty pricy. However, you don't need a lot of cheese or nuts. Also, pesto goes a long way. One batch makes 16 servings! If your only cooking for one like me, you can freeze the pesto. Put the pesto in a zip lock bag and cut a hole in the corner of the bag. Pipe the pesto into ice cube trays and freeze. When the pesto is hard remove from the tray and put in a zip lock bag. Make sure to take all the air out, and write the date on the bag. When you come home cold and tired on a Novmenber day, you can have summer pesto in the time it takes to cook the pasta :).
Ingredients: makes two cups (serves 16, 2 tablespoons per serving)
12 ounces washed and cleaned dandelion leaves (I used one big bunch)

2/3 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled
6 tablespoons (40g) pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/3 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

Method:

  • Put about one-third of the dandelion greens in the food processor or blender with the olive oil and chop for a minute, scraping down the sides. Add the remaining dandelion greens in two batches, until they’re all finely chopped up.
  • Add the garlic cloves, pine nuts, salt, and Parmesan, and process until everything is a smooth puree.
  • Taste, and add more salt if necessary. If it’s too thick, you can thin it with more olive oil or water.
Cost: $7.50 total, .47 per serving
Time: 15 minutes total
Nutrition Facts: Amount Per Serving
Calories 111.3
Total Fat 11.4 gSaturated Fat 1.6 gPolyunsaturated Fat 1.8 gMonounsaturated Fat 7.2 gCholesterol 1.1 mgSodium 179.9 mgPotassium 23.1 mgTotal Carbohydrate 1.6 gDietary Fiber 0.5 gSugars 0.1 gProtein 1.3 g
Weight Watcher Points +: 3 points per serving

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Dandelion Pesto + Summer