This post may contain advertisement. Yesterday I made dandelion pesto. In the evening I was telling Ben about it.
Me: I felt so peaceful, so focused picking dandelion leaves, it felt so natural, like I’m one with mother nature. I really really enjoyed foraging, perhaps we should downshift and have a simple life in the forest, home school our children, go foraging and grow our own vegetables.
Ben: We are already as downshifted as it gets…
Ok, we won’t downshift then. Ben didn’t like the taste of dandelion pesto, so we won’t last very long in the wilderness after all. But if you want dandelion pesto recipe here it is.
Dandelion leaves (however much you’re brave to try and have the patience to collect)
Spinach (I have never eaten dandelions before, not consciously anyway, maybe as a child I had a few flowers along with bird poo just like my kids; so I didn’t want to end up with a tummy ache so decides to mix with spinach to be on the safe side. But I’m still here today and I haven’t spend any more time in the toilet than usual)
Hazelnuts (you can use pine nuts or walnuts too, but we had hazelnuts and I was too lazy to go to the shops so just used those)
Garlic (I used powdered one, but fresh one is even better)
Chives (I had chives in the garden, if you don’t have chives don’t bother)
Here’s the difficult bit, while I really enjoyed picking dandelions I found it very difficult to separate the leaves from the grass, ours have been squashed by the lanwmower so the leaves were really in the ground and by picking them I was also picking the grass. It took me ages to rinse them properly and I ended up wasting too much water while doing it, so maybe this recepe isn’t that eco friendly after all. Wash your dandelion leaves very well. Obviously don’t pick them if you think they’ve been sprayed with anything, or if they are too close to the roads, close to places where people walk their dogs etc, just be sensible. Put dandelion leaves, spinach, olive oil, chives, hazelnuts and garlic in the food processor, run it till you’re happy with the consistency of your pesto. I have also experimented with adding some cheese to it, so had half of the batch with no cheese and half with cheese. To be honest dandelions taste quite strong and I couldn’t taste the cheese at all. Pesto turned out quite bitter. While I was reading about it I discovered that bitterness is ok and that’s kind of why people like it. I really enjoyed it, but Ben didn’t. So I you’re a bit of a food pervert like me give it a go.
Also the flowers can be used for making tea, so they are currently drying outside and I will tell you what it’s like if we end up making dandelion tea.