Ok everyone, to me this is the weirdest time of year. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and things are starting to grow in the garden, but there is nothing ready to harvest yet! Just look at those tiny garlic sprouts! Sure I have some herbs, but a few chives and a sprig of mint hardly feel like an actual harvest of anything.
Don't forget the humble dandelion and his friends known collectively as false dandelions! In my area none of them are flowering yet so this is the perfect time to eat the leaves as they are not too bitter yet. If you've never been out foraging dandelions are the perfect thing to start with since they have no poisonous lookalikes. If it looks like a dandelion you're good to go! When you get home with your bounty of beautiful green leaves soak them in a combo of water and vinegar just in case a wandering animal used them as a toilet. After that rinse them with plain water and they'll be ready to eat! If you're still leery you can sometimes find dandelion greens in the grocery store, but why pay for something you can get for free for almost no effort!
Ok so you have your dandelion greens. Now what?
Use them like any other green in your kitchen! Make a salad! Wilt them in with your scrambled eggs! Purée them in a green smoothie or a soup! Since in my family we love condiments I made pesto.
Isn't that a beautiful green? In case you were wondering #nofilter. In my recipe I guessed a bit on the amounts so scale them up or down a bit depending on how much of the greens you gathered.
Dandelion Leaf Pesto
- 3-4 cups Dandelion Leaves
- 1/2 cup Pine Nuts or Walnuts
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil plus more to add at the end to get the consistency right
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
- Juice of One Lemon
Takes , serves 6.
- Gather and wash your dandelion leaves. If you are worried about the cleanliness of your foraged leaves add a little vinegar to your water and soak them for a couple minutes in that solution.
- Toast the nuts in a pan on medium heat just until you can start to smell them. Do not multitask at this part because they will burn quickly.
- Put ingredients - liquid first - in a high powered blender or food processor, and blend until the mixture reaches a paste-like consisency. Add more oil as needed until it reaches your desired thickness.