I was digging up a particularly big dandelion recently when I remembered that these mothers are edible and I had a meal to prepare for our somewhat-under-5-a-day teenagers. I always like a culinary challenge so voila the result was dandelion, sundried tomato and sprouted chickpea pesto pasta. (And not only are dandelions surprisingly nutritious, they are also thought to prevent acne…)
The dish went down well so I thought I’d share it here.
dandelion leaves – as many as you are patient enough to pick
handful of sundried tomatoes (in oil or if dried, soak them in hot water until soft)
a couple of cloves garlic (I roughly chop it then pour boiling water over to draw out some of the heat)
handful of sprouted chickpeas (or something equally crunchy like pumpkin seeds, nuts or toasted pine nuts)
grated parmesan and/or couple of teaspoons of bouillon powder
fresh cherry tomatoes (quartered)
pasta of your choice (penne or fusilli work well)
Strip the dandelion leaves off the stalks (see video demonstration below) and wash thoroughly.
Put the pasta on to cook.
Put leaves in a blender with all the other pesto ingredients. Zap. (We found that a traditional pestle and mortar works great for the garlic and pine nuts but not for the rest)
Chop up the cherry tomatoes into quarters.
When pasta is cooked, drain it and stir in the pesto and the cherry tomatoes. Taste, season and add more oil and grated paremsan as required.
Serve room temperature and enjoy eating your weeds!
Here’s my friend Debbie stripping the dandelion leaves. Hold the top of the stalk in one hand and gently pinch the leaf and strip it off the stalk with the other.