Dandelion Pesto with walnuts is a unique twist on a traditional pesto with a subtly bitter and peppery taste. So good in pasta or on a toast!Jump to Recipe
Hello everyone – happy Monday!
I have few very important questions to ask. Do you have a lawn / backyard? Do you have dandelions you want to get rid of? I’ve got some great news for you then! Put your lawnmower aside – you don’t need it today!
Instead, grab the scissors because we are going to make this Dandelion Pesto! Sounds crazy? May be a bit. Certainly, crazy delicious, too!
Indeed, dandelions are perfectly edible weeds. The yellow petals from and the leaves can be eaten in salad, and the leaves can also be sautéed like spinach. You can also use roots (I haven’t tried it.) Don’t use the stems though as they taste bitter. Also, consumption of stems in large quantities can be toxic (I don’t think you will be enjoying the bitter taste that much anyway!)
Health Benefits and Side Affects
Dandelions have many potential health benefits. They contain antioxidants such as beta-carotene and polyphenols. Some studies suggest they may help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, boost immune system, and keep your skin healthy.
However, please keep in mind there are side effects. So you should avoid consuming dandelions if you have certain health conditions (Including blood and stomach conditions.) Also, It could cause allergic reactions, stomach discomfort, and some other side effects. Before eating dandelions please make a research or consult with your doctor. Havoc in The Kitchen cannot be considered the complete and reliable health advice as I do not have any medical education, so I am only highlighting some possible side effects. As a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to consume this pesto in moderation, especially if you are making it first time.
How to Choose Dandelions?
First, collect dandelions growing far from the road (Fields and your backyard are some great options!) Avoid any dandelions that have been sprayed with fertilizer or any other toxic sprays. Try collecting small leaves as they taste less bitter. Do it as early as possible – do not wait until they become mature. You can always sample a little piece before making a recipe.
How Does Dandelion Pesto Taste?
This Dandelion Pesto tastes delightful! Dandelion leaves have a unique flavor, both earthy and bitter. To me, they taste something between radicchio (or endive) and arugula. The pesto has a delicate and palatable bitter aftertaste. Of course, it could be more subtle or more distinctive depending on the leaves taste. Combined with garlic, lemon, walnuts, and olive oil, it’s super delicious. Don’t want to use dandelions? Try arugula – I think have something in common.
How to Use Dandelion Pesto?
Use it as any other Dandelion Pesto. Pasta, on a toast, an addition to your soup – these are few of possible uses.
Dandelion PestoCourse: Dip
Dandelion Pesto with walnuts is a unique twist on a traditional pesto with a delightful subtly bitter and peppery taste. So good in pasta or on a toast! Please note there are some side effects, and dandelions should not not be consumed by people with some certain health conditions. This blog post is only a brief reference and cannot be considered the complete and reliable source as Havoc In the Kitchen does not obtain any medical education to give you an advice. Thus make a research or consult with your doctor prior to consuming dandelions.
a small bunch of freshly picked dandelion leaves (not the stems) (~2 cups chopped)
~ 1/2 to 2/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
3 garlic cloves
~ 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
~ 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
~1/4 tsp. salt or to taste
- Quickly rinse the dandelion leaves and drain.
- Place all ingredients except the Parmesan into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. If it’s too thick, slowly add a bit more olive oil or even water.
- Add the Parmesan and continue to blend, until the mixture has a chunky (Like I made) or smooth consistency. For a smooth version, you might need to incorporate more olive oil or water. For a chucky and drier version, use more nuts (2/3 cup).
- Refrigerate and eat within 3 days. Enjoy!