Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Stay at our place in Segur

It's been quite a while since my last post. Life certainly got busy for me over the last year. We became three! With more time in London and less in Segur, our little retreat is now available for rent when we are not in Segur. You can find details on AirBNB

Friday, 20 April 2012

Dandelion pesto recipe

Our little Segurian courtyard is filled with dandelions, no flowers yet, just the lovely little leaves. Usually I weed the courtyard, making way for the bright green moss that I love. It grows in the shade underneath the dandelions and sparkles in the sunlight when exposed. 

This week however, I decided to do a little reading on the ever present dandelion greens. It turns out dandelion greens are very nutritious. They have concentrations of beta-carotene than carrots, and more iron and calcium than spinach. By eating, as opposed to composting this ubiquitous little weed, you also get vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, and D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.

Worth a try I guess! Apparently the term dandelion comes from the old French of “dent-de-lion” lions tooth, after the saw-toothed shape of the dandelion leaf. I picked a couple of large handfuls of the smaller leaves – these are less bitter that the larger leaves, and set about making pesto. The pesto was quite bitter, but still made a tastier dip than anything store bought, and was especially good smeared in the base of vegetable tarts, and mixed with a little cream fraiche in pasta dishes.

Dandelion leaves are tougher than basil leaves, which can be mixed nicely into pesto by chopping and then pummelling with a mortar and pestle. I used a hand blender to chop and blend the leaves together. If you use a hand blender be aware that leaves may collect in the blade. This happened to me and I (incredibly stupidly) attempted to free them, blending my finger as a result... a quick, painful trip to the pharmacie ensued. If you do need to clear the blade be sure to turn the power off.

Here’s the recipe, I hope you like it.

Three handfuls of young washed and chopped dandelion leaves
Half a cup grated parmesan cheese
!/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt

Step One: In a large mixing bowl place the dandelion leaves, parmesan cheese and half of the olive oil. Mix with a hand blender. This will take a while as the leaves are slightly tough. Slowly add the remainder of the olive oil and salt to taste. The finished consistency should be smooth and bright green.