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How to Listen

Dandelion Pesto (donated by Diane Martin, Woody Point)

Two cups (500g)

I’ve cut David Lebovitz’s recipe in half because he just buys his greens at the market, whereas we (meaning Dave) have to pick them ourselves. The 6 ounces is half but it is a LOT of dandelions. Here is what you’ll need:


  • 6 ounces (350g) washed and cleaned dandelion leaves
  • 1/2 to 1 cup (250ml) olive oil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons of pine nuts lightly toasted or of plain blanched almonds (I’ve used unblanched almonds too and couldn’t tell the difference. Unblanched has more fibre.)
  • 1 scant tsp of sea salt
  • 1 or 2 ounces of freshly grated parmesan


  1. Put about one-third of the dandelion greens in the food processor or blender with the olive oil and chop for a minute or so, scraping down the sides. Add the remaining dandelion greens in two batches, until they’re all finely chopped up.
  2. Add the garlic cloves, pine nuts/almonds, salt, and Parmesan, and process until everything is a smooth puree.
  3. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. If it’s too thick, you can thin it with more olive oil. The oil is a matter of taste; we like it fairly oily.

Storage and Use

The pesto can be refrigerated in a jar for 5 days or so. The top may darken, which is normal. You can pour a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent that. It also freezes well.

Two ideas for using your pesto:

  • Dipping for a light lunch or snack.

Put some in a little bowl, add enough oil (or even water) to make it dippable. Dunk some nice crusty bread into the pesto and eat. Delicious!

  • Pasta pesto for lunch or supper.

Cook enough short pasta, such as fusilli or penne for the number of people who’ll be eating. Put about 1/3 to ½ cup pesto into a big bowl. Add ¼ cup apple cider vinegar and some pasta cooking water, to make the pesto soupy. Add the cheese if you haven’t already. Dunk the cooked pasta into the bowl with the soupy pesto and mix well. Then add at least one cup of fresh arugula into the bowl and mix again. Voila!