Pesto pasta with weeds?
I was surprised at how delicious dandelion greens are when lightly sauteed. They’re healthy and they’re FREE, so what’s not to love? There are adventurous food bloggers out there who have embraced this weedy ingredient, so I figured, why not? Heavy hitter David Lebovitz even made a pesto out of these weeds, after all.
The sight of the green weeds with frothy balls of fluff growing in my yard always brings back fond memories.
My husband and I call them Parent Pay Days. One of my favorite Parent Pay Days is one with little fanfare: Your muddy preschooler with a burst of preschooler enthusiasm tracks mud all over your clean carpet with a fist full of dandelions and a preschooler hug. “Mommy, I picked them for YOU!”
Those were the days, my friends. Little kids with little problems and relatively inexpensive needs. I miss those days. I miss the phrase “I love you, Mommy!” I miss the unconditional love often expressed making all the sacrifice worthwhile. I miss snuggling up and reading books. I miss camping in the back yard. I miss pretend tea parties. I miss it all.
Luckily, I now have a grandbaby nearby to cuddle at least 2 or 3 times every week. I can’t wait for her to get old enough to bake cookies with! And I am praying she will love me enough to bring me dandelions every spring.
This is my newest darling grandbaby, Ruby. I know. I just had to share. You’re Welcome.
— posted by Donna
DANDELION PESTO PASTA RECIPE
Serves 4 to 6; Total time 30 minutes
1 large bunch chopped dandelion greens (about 12 cups, lightly packed)
16 ounces pasta, any shape (I used orchiette)
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Dash cayenne pepper sauce
1 large shallot, minced
1 cup frozen peas, chopped
Blanch the dandelion greens in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Remove from water and rinse in cold water and set aside. Keep water boiling and cook pasta to al dente stage according to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, toast walnuts in a 350 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, until fragrant.
Drain but do not rinse pasta.
Place dandelion greens, walnuts, oil, salt, cayenne pepper sauce and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese in food processor. Pulse until greens are in very small bits, 8 to 10 pulses.
In a large skillet, saute shallots in a little oil until transluscent. Stir in peas until warmed.
Add cooked pasta, peas and pesto to skillet and toss. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and serve immediately.
Other dandelion goodness: