I know what you're thinking: what?! Dandelion? Pesto? The answer is yes. And yes. You know how much I love dandelions...and pesto. It seems only natural that I would find a way to make them work together. This riff on the traditional pesto is so packed with healing properties, thanks to the dandelion that is loaded with iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A and C. It's often used as a natural aid for anemia and is also considered great for all around body detoxification as it acts as a mild laxative and, if the roots are also used, a liver cleanser. Basically, this humble little weeds helps us clean out toxins from our body (and herbal mystics say our mind) so we can live healthier lives. Wow! This is why I am so in love with this herb and often use it in many of my tea blends like my Warrior Tea, meant to replenish the body after a hard workout.
Like my basil pesto, this pesto swaps out the traditional Parmesan cheese for nutritional yeast. I reduce the amount of olive in this recipe to compensate for the addition of lemon juice, here used to counteract the bitterness of the greens. I sometimes swap out the sunflower seeds for pepitas or pumpkin seeds with equally tasty results. As always, I don't really add much, if any, salt to this as the yeast and lemon provide enough seasoning for me, but you can always add salt if you want. This pesto is great smeared on sandwiches (in place of mayo), crostini, pizza, or pasta, and makes a great base for a salad dressing.
2 cups organic dandelion greens (one bunch)
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Salt to taste (optional)
Blend all ingredients in a blend or food processor until combined. Store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to one week (though I doubt it will last that long, it's so good!). Enjoy!
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