Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dandelion Pesto

Pesto is a sauce that originated in the Ligurian region of northern Italy. Pesto genovese, from Genoa, traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and pine nuts blended with olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano The name derives from the Italian verb pestare which means to pound or to crush, referring to the original way of preparing it - with a mortar and pestle. The ingredients in a traditional pesto are ground with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar. Now I use a blender. 

And because pesto isn't one of Jake's favorites, I don't make it very often. But when I saw a bunch in my WE Cooperative CSA box from Fogline Farm, I decided to make a definitively non-traditional dandelion pesto, using dandelion greens and almonds instead of basil and pine nuts.

1 bunch dandelion greens
1 T crushed garlic
1/2 C sliced almonds
1/2 C shredded parmesan

Place all of the ingredients into the blender. Pulse a few times, drizzle in olive oil, and resume pulsing.  Pulse. Oil. Pulse. Oil.

If you want a smoother, sauce-like pesto, add more olive oil and blend longer; if you want a chunkier pesto, use less oil and blend for less time.  So simple. So fresh. So fragrant.

You can use these in pesto-filled potatoes or tossed into pasta. You'll see this batch smeared onto pizza.

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