being five in Texas. I know these greens more for their yellow flowers that sprouted over the yard and drove my father crazy. I would wait with great anticipation as these lovely weeds turned into delicate fluffy balls that simply had to be blown as hard as I could, sending all those seeds soaring out over the yard swinging gaily from their fuzzy parachutes – and ultimately planting more for next year. (Sorry, Dad.) Not sure I ever decided which is more fun: blowing bubbles or blowing dandelion seeds. But now I know which can ultimately taste better.
The following came together as fast as makeshift pesto. Dandelion can be bitter, so I went heavy on the pasta, light on the sauce.
1½ cup minced (read, food processed) dandelion greens, lower stems discarded.
2 shallots, finally chopped or processed
4 large garlic cloves
2 Tbs olive oil
½ cup broth
Kosher salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper to taste
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
Heat oil in sauté pan. Add shallots; sauté until soft. Use garlic press to add garlic (or mince garlic and add.) When shallots have caramelized, add dandelion greens and broth. Season and simmer until soft.
Use to dress prepared pasta or spread on bread as an app. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
dandelion photo © Sherri Camp