DIY Dandelion Pesto

Most of us know the dandelion as the pesky harbingers of spring, but the dandelion plays an important (and tasty) role during the spring and early summer months.

Dandelions are some of the first foods available to bees and butterflies. Later in the year, the American goldfinch eats up to 2,000 dandelion seeds a day. The dandelion is an incredible source of vitamins and minerals. While I’ve seen plenty of people tote the deliciousness of raw dandelion leaves in salads, my favorite preparation for this early bloomer is a dandelion pesto.

Here’s how to make it: Gather, wash, and dry two cups dandelion leaves, loosely packed and roughly chopped. (Note: never harvest dandelions from roadsides, areas with heavy traffic congestion, or in places where herbicides have been used.) To a blender, add prepared dandies, ½ cup choice of nut (traditional pesto calls for pine nuts, but I love to swap with pistachios), roasted garlic, ½ cup olive oil, a few tablespoons of lemon juice, and salt. Blend until you reach a thick, creamy consistency before adding in a handful of parmesan cheese. Toss pesto with noodles, serve over chicken or fish, or spread on toasted baguettes. (Bri Loveall)

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