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Dandelion Pesto Spread

If you can't beat them, eat them! Why waste time, resources and possibly nasty toxic chemicals to battle the much maligned dandelion? They're dense in beta carotene, calcium and potassium. They're also high in inulin—a starchy carbohydrate that helps maintain good gut health. And they're delicious with the right kind of bitter to help promote healthy digestion and to add a complexity to dishes. Our foremothers regularly consumed dandelions and Europeans have never forgotten this fabulously healthy salad green.

This recipe is thick, more like a dip. For a traditional pesto consistency, just go a little easier on the cheese and seeds and add a little more oil. 

 

INGREDIENTS

350 grams of fresh dandelion leaves. Try for a mix of young and older leaves. The large older leaves are more bitter, but add a really interesting flavour to the pesto. 

1/2 cup of olive or avocado oil

140 grams of parmesan or romano cheese

60 grams of pumpkin seeds (lightly toast for extra flavour, but not necessary)

4 cloves of garlic

Sea salt to taste

 

METHOD

Carefully wash your leaves, making sure no dirt remains. Place one-third of the dandelion greens in the food processor with the oil and chop for a couple of minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the remaining leaves in batches until they're finely chopped. 
Add the garlic, pumpkin seeds, and cheese, and blitz until you have a smooth puree. 
Taste and add salt. If you'd like it thicker add more cheese and/or seeds. Prefer a thinner consistency? Add more oil.
Garnish with a dandelion blossom and serve with crusty bread or tortilla chips.