Friday, 2 May 2014

Dandelion pesto

Yes, you read that right, it's pesto made from dandelions, and it's delicious!

Inspired by a friend's talk of foraging and another friend's wild garlic pesto, I googled and found this idea. We have A LOT of dandelions in our garden, despite my vague attempts to dig them up with a butter knife, and apart from a dalliance with dandelion tea last year, they've been largely ignored. Which is good news for the bees apparently.

So I wanted to use the leaves for something. I googled "dandelion pesto", somebody somewhere had made it, which was proof enough for me.

I've never made pesto before, I'm not a huge fan of it. Actually I actively dislike pine nuts, something about their taste makes me nauseous, so I omitted them from this recipe.

First, catch your dandelions. Har-har.
No, seriously, go get dandelions, somewhere pesticides haven't been.
Then assemble the following, or similar:

I collected about twice this amount of dandelions, the other half are in the blender. We don't have a food processor, so I use the blender for most things. So you need olive oil, garlic, salt, strong cheese (grated) as well as the aforementioned dents de lion leaves. 

Now, the blending didn't go so well. Five minutes of fruitless blending, where nothing much happened only the blades rotated, and I thought of abandoning the whole project, I discovered I wasn't using enough oil. I also realised the leaves needed chopping before blending, so I hacked into the blender with the kitchen scissors. Then we were sucking diesel and I ended up with a good wet paste.

These will freeze and be defrosted ready to be put on the table. It will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. True to form it has a bitter taste, but nice. If you like rocket you'll like this. Make it anyway, and give it a go, sure it only costs pennies. Stir it into pasta, top foccaccia with it, add to salad dressings, baked potatoes, marinade fish in it?!

The dh as he's now known enjoyed it with his lunch: veggie omelette with salad greens and grated beetroot and carrot salad. How will you enjoy yours?

Nee x

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