This vegan foraged dandelion pesto is robust, nutty, with a strong, herbaceous flavour. The addition of garlic and deactivated yeast to give a cheesy flavour rounds off this as the perfect vegan pesto.
This is a really cheap alternative to buying over-priced jars of pesto from a supermarket. If you’re vegan you’ll probably have heard of deactivated yeast, which should be available from your local health food shop. All the other ingredients are easily available. All you need to do is pick some dandelion leaves. These grow in a rosette formation. There are over two hundred types of dandelion leaves and they do vary a little in shape, but none are poisonous so don’t worry. Just make sure you only pick the very young leaves which are lighter in colour. They tend to shoot in spring but you can find patches of young leaves growing throughout the warmer months.
Dandelions grow everywhere but make sure you’re not on a dog walking route and you have permission to forage. Gram-for-gram the nutritional content of the leaves is similar to Kale, and although they only have around two thirds as much protein, this is still a fair bit. (Source: Healthalicious)
A handful of soaked dandelion leaves, rinsed and chopped and stems removed.
1 chopped garlic clove, cut into 4.
Small handful of mixed seeds.
A glug of extra virgin olive oil.
1 tblsp of deactivated yeast flakes.
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar.
Pinch of salt and pepper.
How to make vegan foraged dandelion pesto:
- After soaking the dandelion leaves in water, (optionally you could use a little raw apple cider vinegar), for ten minutes, dry them in a bit of kitchen towel, or in a salad spinner.
- Get a pestle and mortar, or if you have access to one, a food a processor. Add all the chopped leaves, seeds, balsamic vinegar, garlic and the olive oil. Bash away until it starts going mushy.
- Add the deactivated yeast flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Keep bashing until you reach the desired consistency.
Stir in to warm pasta di semola, or spread on crusty garlic bread.
Place in a sealed airtight container and enjoy for up to four days if refrigerated. If no fridge, consume within 24 hours.
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