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Sauces and Condiments, Vegetarian

Dandelion pesto

Dandelion pesto
Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

"But they're weeds." My much better half is not, shall we say, "adventurous" when it comes to greens: A "real" salad is built around a wedge of iceberg or chopped romaine. Stewed collards are fine for New Year's Eve, and ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes | Makes about 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3/4 bunch (12 ounces) dandelion greens, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • Lemon juice, if desired, to taste

Step 1Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic and one-eighth teaspoon salt to a smooth paste. Add the pine nuts and grind until smooth.

Step 2Add a handful of dandelion greens and a sprinkling of salt, grinding to break the leaves down to a pulp, until all the dandelion greens and salt are incorporated (this can take up to 30 minutes).

Step 3Add the cheeses and olive oil, grinding and stirring to combine. Taste, adjusting the cheese and seasoning if desired. Add a touch of lemon juice to brighten the flavors if you like. (The pesto can also be made in a food processor or blender, though the recipe will require an additional clove or more of garlic).


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