Wildcrafted Dandelion Pesto & Herb Roasted Tomato

Wildcrafted dandelion pesto with herb roasted tomatoes.

Whip up a batch of dandelion pesto sauce to spread over fresh bread or top your pasta for a fresh, bright, natural spring treat.

This time of year, dandelions top my spring foraging  shopping list.

Infinitely useful in magic and spell craft, dandelions also add some tasty pizzazz to your spring kitchen witch culinary projects.

The leaves, in particular, taste earthy and slightly bitter, making them a great sub for basil in pesto.

A perfect addition to oven-baked bread, homemade salad dressings and even veggie burgers.

So take a look around your backyard or favorite foraging spot, gather a basket full, and don’t forget to grab the leaves!

Herb roasted tomatoes and dandelion pesto.

Wildcrafted spring pesto with dandelion leaves, lime, sunflower seeds and olive oil.

3Currently on my spring bucket list: Make some of this amazing dandelion pesto. OMG YUM.

Make dandelion pesto sauce from wildcrafted dandelion leaves, sunflower seeds, olive oil and tumeric. YUM.

 

Magical Properties

When designing kitchen witch recipes, the magical properties of the ingredients matter.

Dandelion Leaves

This plant bears the heart of the lion.

Use dandelion leaves in kitchen witch recipes to inspire courage, boldness and strength.

Sunflower Seeds

While pesto traditionally incorporates pine nuts, we use sunflower seeds instead to “brighten” this recipe with the warmth of solar energy.

The “sun magick” of sunflower seeds warms the heart, lifts the spirit and dispels darkness.

(Learn more about how to use sunflowers in witchcraft).

Tomatoes

These delicious, deeply red fruits share a long and somewhat amusing history with witchcraft.

Once thought by witch hunters to be a key ingredient in flying ointment (a psychedelic salve allegedly used by occult practitioners in Medieval Europe), people once believed that eating a tomato risked turning into a witch or werewolf.

A nightshade, tomatoes come from the same family as many herbs used in modern witchcraft, including belladonna and mandrake.

Garlic

Mostly known for its protective properties, we add garlic to this recipe to guard the soul, ward off meloncholy, and inspire passion for new projects during the spring months.

(Learn more about how to work with garlic in witchcraft).

Lime Juice

Bright, astringent and exceptionally green, limes cleanse psychic muck and clear out energetic blockages.

We use it here as an alternative to the traditional lemon in pesto for a slightly more complex, layered flavor.

Tumeric

Many of the benefits health experts say tumeric promotes also translate to its metaphysical properties.

In a metaphysical context, tumeric’s “anti-inflammatory” properties soothe inflamed tempers, strengthen the heart chakra and prevent malignant emotions from growing wild roots in the soul.

Tips

-Try to go for smaller, younger dandelion leaves, which have a less bitter, lighter flavor.

-If you only find the larger leaves, no worries!  Just add a bit extra cheese and oil to balance it out.

-You can make the pesto a day ahead and store it in a clean, glass jar for 1-2 days before using.

Other Ideas for Dandelion Pesto

Not a pasta fan?  Use dandelion pesto to add flavor and personality to a variety of spring veggies.

Try it on:

-Veggie burgers.

-Whole wheat pasta.

-Grilled chicken.

-In creamy or oil-based homemade salad dressings.

-Veggie loaded baked potatoes. 

-On freshly baked bread.

(You can also do what I do and just eat it straight out the jar.  In your pajamas.  At midnight.)

Ingredients

For the pesto:

*1/2 cup sunflower seeds

*3 cloves garlic

*2 cups finely chopped fresh dandelion leaves

*1 tbsp lime juice

*1/4 cup parmesean 

*1/2 cup high quality extra-virgin olive oil

*1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

*1 teaspoon turmeric powder

*fresh ground black pepper to taste 

For the tomatoes:

-1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

-2 tbsp olive oil

-pinch sea salt

-pinch ground black pepper

-2 tsp dried oregano 

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out tomato halves.

Drizzle with olive oil, oregano, sea salt and pepper.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until tender.

Step 2

Meanwhile, put sunflower seeds, garlic, dandelion leaves, lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, tumeric powder and fresh ground pepper into a blender.  Blend for 10-20 seconds.  Stop, remove lid, and shift ingredients (if necessarily).

Step 3

When the ingredients are roughly chopped, add the sunflower seeds and blend again to desired consistency.

I like mine coarse, but you can blend it all the into a puree if you prefer.

(If you don’t plan to use the pesto immediately, or you have extra, scoop into a clean, glass jar and store up to 2 days).

Step 4

Top pasta or bread with roasted tomatoes and pesto.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

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