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Dandelion Pesto & Pizza

Growing up, my brother would always joke with me every time I ordered a salad that didn’t resemble iceberg lettuce – he’d call whatever I was having a “weed salad.” Little did I know at the time – but weed salads were the da nutritionally speaking and usually contained one or two sprigs of dandelion leaves. Dandelion is not a weed. Let me repeat. Dandelion is not a weed! Ok, maybe it is, but it doesn’t mean you need to treat it that way.

To me, dandelion is miraculous, not the butt of jokes. It has amazing powers to detox your liver and I’m always looking for ways I can include this super green into my diet. It’s rich in iron, high in calcium, has more protein than spinach and is packed with antioxidants (all those things that keep you looking and feeling young). Instead of juicing a big bunch of dandelion greens I had in the fridge this morning… I made this instead: Dandelion Pesto & Pizza. Enjoy!


Dandelion Pesto
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 10
  • 3 cups washed and cleaned dandelion leaves
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup raw parmesan cheese
  • zest of a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or vitamix and blend until creamy and smooth
Serve as pizza sauce, on top of pasta, dressing or marinade. Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.


This pesto has an intense flavor and a little goes a long way. It’s fabulous on top of pasta (buckwheat noodles are my favorite), as a dressing, marinade, on top of crackers or used as pizza sauce like I did below:


Pesto Pizza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 ezekiel sprouted grain or brown rice tortilla
  • 2 tablespoon pesto
  • 1 ounce grated goat cheese
  • ½ tomato sliced in to three slices
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. As the oven is preheating, place tortilla in oven for 3 mins to thaw or get slightly crisp
  3. Remove tortilla and top with pesto, goat cheese and tomato
  4. Bake pizza for 8 mins or until cheese is melted
  5. Remove from oven and let stand for 2-3mins
  6. Cut pizza into slices and enjoy!


Bon Appétit,

Food Babe


P.S. If you enjoy these types of recipes, check out the new Meal Plans for Health program that just launched this month – especially if you are finding it hard to start or maintain an organic lifestyle, want to lose weight or are looking for a monthly meal plan calendar that will keep you on track. Reviews are coming in and people are already feeling the magic and seeing results!


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100 responses to “Dandelion Pesto & Pizza

  1. My mom ALWAYS said, you need to eat something warm on a hot day… I am thinking it was just to get us to eat what she had made.

  2. My youngest daughter has always loved to help me bake, when she was about 3 we were making pumpkin muffins and she said can I lick the the bowl or does it have Rotten (raw) eggs in it. Took me a minute to figure it out what she was talking about.

      1. My brother, sister, and I always waited very impatiently to lick the bowl. I still do it!

  3. Hi,
    My best food memory growing up was my Grandmother making organic butter on the farm and the huge sweetest organic strawberries we grew.

  4. We were always told to finish what’s on our plates, thousands were starving in Africa…no wonder we were all overweight as kids.

    1. When I was growing up, we were told to clean our plate because people in China were starving to death. Little did we know that my sister was bringing a friend home from collage for the holidays. Some fool let it slip, clean your plate because people in China are starving to death. OK. Tom (out guest) was from China. He just shrugged and said, “we were told to clean our plate because people in Japan were starving to death.” Yes, he is now my brother in law.

      1. thats hilarious!! what a funny guy! 😉 I was never told to clear my plate. I was always told to stop when I was full, my parents never wanted me to be overweight.

    2. We were told the same thing by my dad til one day my brother said,” oh yeah? Name one.”

    3. These memories are hilarious… My parents never told me why I needed to finish my plate – it was just mandatory and my Dad became the human garbage can for anything left over.

      1. My dad hated waste, so he made us eat whatever we put on our plates. We
        learned not to have eyes bigger than our stomachs!!!

      2. Ha! My dad always made us eat everything. And if we complained we got more! It was rough and not something I plan to do when I have kids.

  5. Fondly remember my dad “picking” dandelions from our and neighbors lawns as a child. He’d cook them up with lots of garlic and evoo…yum!

    Unfortunately, everyone “nukes” their lawns and only cultivated dandelions are available.

    1. Oh – that’s awesome… I didn’t find out about dandelions until about 5 years ago.

    1. Yes, you can pick many ‘weeds’ to use in various dishes! Make sure that they are not sprayed (or have run-off from other yards). My sicilian uncle loved coming to our house to pick all sorts of goodies because my dad didn’t spray and we had no neighbors!

  6. Looking back, I was pretty lucky growing up the way I did. My mom would always stress to my sister and I that making fresh food from scratch as much as you could (pasta sauces, going to good markets – before Whole Foods and the internet were invented). We had a big garden and there was ALWAYS something green on our plate, every night. Its made my adult life more enjoyable, food wise to explore and test out new and healthy foods. Plus, my mom being Italian, she could cook, and for that my wife has won because I love mixing it up in the kitchen! Now if I could just get that crushing beer post last week out of my head!

    1. Awe Matt – I’m sorry about that… you should have seen the hate mail I got (and still getting!) 🙂

      1. I actually purchased the recommended Amstel Light and offered that at a recent party and got back great reviews. I also explained how Food Babe researched just how toxic most beers are and very few were regarded as safe alternatives. I loved the article and will always use it as a reference for the beer of choice!

  7. Not from my childhood, but one of my favorite memories is of my youngest daughter when she was 2 years old. We were at the grocery store and she was sitting in the cart’s baby seat. I saw some artichokes, which I had only had once in my life, about 15 years before this. I remembered how much I’d liked them, so I went over to the display to look them over. Behind me, my little daughter said with some despair, “Oh Mommy, don’t buy those cactus!”

    Well, I bought two, promising my five kids a real treat. It worked, too. They all love artichokes to this day!

      1. This is actually a good example of how it helps to get kids involved in food preparation. I told my kids all about my only experience eating artichokes… how my stepmother boiled them, then we all sat around with bowls of melted butter and picked off the leaves one by one, dipped them into the butter, and scraped off the soft bottom part with our teeth. And I told them all about getting to the heart of the artichoke and how good it was.

        Then we took those globes home and the kids watched me prepared them and helped melt the butter and set everything on the table. They were so excited about these funny-looking, cactus-like vegetables! BTW, we lived in southern Arizona, so they knew what cactus was!

        We were very poor at the time, and food was precious. Those artichokes really made an impression.

      2. just remember to remove the needle-laden outer skin before eating LOL 😛

  8. I remember when I was a kid my mom giving me some money and sending me to the corner store, 2 buildings away, for a head of lettuce. I brought home a head of cabbage because I couldn’t tell the difference. This is why I’m blessed to have had my wonderful husband cook for me for almost 40 years. I’m just not that great in the kitchen.

  9. My memory as a child was eating cereal with milk for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly (with more milk) for lunch, and even more milk for dinner (with home cooked meal). Don’t know how I survived. I haven’t had those foods for over 20 years.

    1. HAHA Kate. I always say the same thing. I also didnt wear seat belts, use hand sanitizer, wear a helmet when I rode my bike, and actually played outside. Dem was the days!!

  10. As a child, my mother always made a huge pot of oatmeal every morning. On the cold days my Dad would always say, eat up…this will stick you your ribs. For years I thought ribs were inside my stomach. No wonder I failed Biology!! Thanks Dad!!

    1. My first bowl of oatmeal was given to me by my boyfriend (now my husband) when we first starting dating… It’s so funny to think I never had oatmeal before my early 20’s. Now I can’t live without it!

  11. My little sister hated peas. She would gag, choke, etc . Dad threatened to make her sit there all night til she ate them. So when no one was looking she’d put them in her mouth the pretend to take a sip of milk and let them fall into the glass. Finally she announced she was done and would get ready to get up when my father would say….” oh no young lady, you’re not going anywhere til you finish your milk. ”
    And did she learn? Nope same thing the following week. Today she eats peas with pleasure but detests milk.

  12. My maternal grandfather always grew a vegetable garden wherever he lived, and my fondest memory of childhood is picking one of his sun-warmed, ripe tomatoes right off the plant and biting into it, juice running down my chin. To this day, that pungent earthy green smell of a tomato plant reminds me of him.

  13. When I was a kid we had an elderly woman who lived next door whom another neighbor girl and I used to regularly visit. I distinctly remember her boiling dandelion’s on the stove for dinner one night and thinking that she was to poor to afford food from the grocery store. Little did I know she knew better than the rest of us that we had nutritious food growing wild in our front yards!

  14. When I was little we had to eat what was on our plate even if we didn’t like what we were eating. This is when having a dog comes in handy. I would secretly feed him under the table.

  15. I remember as a child not liking the normal go to kid friendly food items, I hated milk (even on my cereal), hot dogs grossed me out and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches were not a staple for me. My siblings would tease me that I was a goat because I was always eating fruits, whole grains & tons of veggies. Later as I became a teenager my health food appreciation slowly began developing into my now current lifestyle. I avoided eating preservatives, artificial flavors, and processed foods etc., at the time I wasn’t informed on my decisions it was simply based around the concept of “if I can’t pronounce the ingredient I probably should not eat it.” I’m so glad today we have the tools and resources more readily available to make informed decisions about our health, I can only imagine what my food choices would have been if those tools were available when I was a teen!

  16. My fondest food memory from my childhood is corn. My dad had a big garden and a third of it was corn. There is nothing better than corn eaten right after being picked. I would eat and eat until I was stuffed and I love to roll the cob in butter and then suck it out of the cob!! One day I went and picked 15 ears and ate all 15 for lunch. When all the corn would come in at once, my mom would blanch it to freeze. She’d lay out all the ears on towels on the table to cool before freezing and I would just sit there and BEG her to let me eat some!! She’d give me the ears with like 10 kernels on it! I still love corn to this day, but very rarely find it as good as it was when I was a kid, nor can I eat nearly that much, not to mention there’s the whole GMO issue!! Of lately I’ve been exploring my relationship with food and one day recently, after eating four ears, after swearing I’d only eat two, I knew I needed to take a serious look at this relationship!!!

  17. Loved the simple little salads my parents use to make. Amazing tomatoes from my neighbors yard in NJ. Amazing stuff that I took for granted. Better than any thing I get now. Even if my dog at the time would take a tinkle every now and then on the plants lololol

  18. Thanks for the email.

    Yes last week was INTENSE – I’m a Guinness beer lover.

    My father made me eat beets as a kid and I absolutely hated them, still can’t warm up to them. I couldn’t leave the table until my beets were finished. Our boxer dog Duke eat everything under the sun and I would try and pawn off the beets to him under the table. When I looked under the table for help the beets were still on the floor and he would look at me like WTF? What The Food!

    Aloha from Manila

  19. When I was little, my mom fixed me a sandwich. I was about 4, and wasn’t very hungry so I only ate half of it. My mother wanted me to eat more & when I refused she said, “Just think of all the starving children in Africa” to which I replied, “Let’s mail it to them!”.

  20. I have a funny story. I have always been a picky eater. And I was always grossed out with chicken legs. I just look at the veins (sometimes purple) and could never bring myself to eat them. My step father was very insistent about everybody eating EVERYTHING on our plates! So I spent many nights at the kitchen table, while he read the daily newspaper. I especially dreaded the nights we had chicken legs. So my sister and I devised a plan. She would crawl under the kitchen table and eat the chicken leg and hand me back the bone to place on my plate,. This worked like a charm, and I made through my childhood. LOL To this day I still will not eat chicken legs, or anything with bones.

  21. My great grandparents were snow birds…we live in Ohio and they migrated to Florida every winter and returned every Spring to literally ‘camp’ in a mobile home in my grandmas backyard until it was time to fly south again. Anyway, my great-grandma always made cucumbers and onions soaked in vinegar in an old cool whip container. My great-grandpa would get the container out as soon as I walked in. I ate all the cucumbers, gramps ate all the onions. The best part was drinking all the vinegar water with tons of spicy cracked pepper floating in it. I recently started drinking a couple teaspoons of braggs apple cider vinegar with water daily and I’m reminded of my late great grandpa every time it hits my lips. 🙂

    1. I started eating cukes and onions in vinegar because of my Grandparents!

      My favorite memories include being at my Grandparents for the summer. They were farmers: milk cows, chickens, big garden. Grandpa would buy a steer or two to raise for beef for the family as well.

      A nice summer night included eating a table full of food that came from Grandma and Grandpa… grilled chicken, corn on the cob (before GMO!), green beans, homemade noodles, Grandma’s perfect dinner rolls with her strawberry preserves…

      For years after my Grandparents retired from farming, I would not eat beef. It just didn’t “taste right.” Lately, we found a nice market that sells local farm-raised grass-fed beef. That’s it! (But we still limit what we eat…)

      Love the comments in this post!

  22. My mom cared for one of her grand children for about a year. One summer evening she requested corn on the bone for dinner! (corn on the cobb)

  23. I grew up with three sisters, and for a very long time I thought grilled cheese was called “girl cheese” because that’s what my dad called it when he made it for us.
    We didn’t eat perfectly growing up, but my parents were very strict about soda (only on special occasions) and limited snacking/unhealthy foods – I’m so thankful for that!

  24. When we were young we had a kids thermos-like plate with a cork plug where hot water could be put. My big sister hated peas and would pull the plug and stuff them into the thermal space of the plate and replace the plug. Unforgettable

  25. My Arabian horse taught me to eat dandelions 15 years ago. They are his favorite food, and since he is much smarter than I am…I ate them also. We have been grazing on weeds together for years. Many people talk about horse whisperers, but I think we need to be horse listeners. They know all the good stuff to eat on the trail.
    Thanks for the great recipes on your site…Love them!

    1. Thank you for your post..that is so inspirational. Animals are our helpers, no doubt. In regards to the pesto recipe.. I love it, but I’d have to make an oil-free version or use less oil. Anyways.. yummy! Can’t wait to try it. P.S. One summer I took a class called, “Wild Herbs, Wild Medicine”, and made dandelion jelly for my final presentation. Delish!

    2. LOL! Since I’ve been following the Food Babe’s menu guides, I’ve been adding different types of greens to my salads. I have a retired Thoroughbred racehorse. Husband asked the other day if I was going to share my salad with my horse!

  26. when I was young I don’t remember being poor but often times for dinner we had rice boiled in milk. Or boiled milk poured over a piece boredof toast. Or eggs boiled in milk.
    I look back on this now and I think, what was it with all that hot milk??

  27. I was raised on a farm where we milked our cows by hand, churned butter, gathered chicken and duck eggs, butchered our own meat and had a huge garden., etc We also had to finish what was on our plate! Even if it was that nasty, gross and disgusting Liver and Onions. Ack! I tried every which way I could think of to mask the flavor and finish my dinner. I tried ketchup, mustard, wrapped in cheese, hidden in biscuits…didn’t matter… I failed every time. By the time I was about 12, I learned to cut the liver into pea/bean size pieces and swallow them like vitamins. And that, my friends, was how I finally was able to clean my plate of Liver and Onions.

  28. I remember that I could never understand why the milk and the buttered toast tasted so much better at my grandma’s house. She was a great cook, but that didn’t change the milk or the toast. When I was older I realized this was because she used whole milk and real butter.

  29. I’m from the UK, and we have a drink called Dandelion and Burdock – made from fermented dandelions and burdock roots. It’s really hard to find the traditional drink now though, instead you find the sugar laden, carbonated soft drink (which I loved as a child). My favourite food memory is Sunday dinners after church. Lots of food, family and noise 🙂

  30. Going gluten free then organic plus eliminating sugar has been a (TEST). I can say I did this in a few steps and this was a must because I saw the benefits and the pitfalls if I slipped. My mother had full blown celiac and as the food changed to GMO the whole family had many health problems. The one site I learned all the information was , this vet linked the heath spiral we have gone down since the 70s . I know we can argue the dates but I remember the local farmers using many new seeds ,pesticides ,herbicides and the bags were marked (not for human consumption) even that farmers warned us not to eat soy or corn . I changed all the family recipes to Organic using basic common sense and trial and lots of errors . My sisters have all followed suit and its been a learning process. If your just starting try 1 meal or lunch . Try not to go overboard . Get some organic chicken and organic salad fixins Make a chef salad with home made dressing with organic cheese and gluten free organic bread and make toast buttered an cut to make croutons , Or make a soup ,like chicken rice with a mixed vegetable . I know many people don’t know how to boil water so its a big learning curve. Learn One meal at a time, make it fun . My claim came when my Dr. told me he had switched to a gluten free diet. To start slow –just avoid HFCS , Corn , soy , MSG to make a little start.

  31. One of my favorite childhood food memories is of me and my sister eating lettuce! We would get some out of the fridge, lay it on the couch and pretend we were cows! We would moo then get on all fours and eat it off the couch! Kids can be silly!

  32. We still make fun of how thrifty our mother was and how it affected our menu.
    A near empty ketchup bottle was kept, filled with water, and became the next meal’s tomato sauce. Another were “hot diggity dogs”. Hot dogs placed on popsicle sticks, rolled in ketchup, mustard, or BBQ sauce, then rolled in crumbs from a near empty bag of potato chips! Yum then, and stretched the dollar well.

  33. My parents grew a big garden and I always had to help. I picked tomatoes, weeded, picked potato bugs off potatoes, and hauled the potatoes down to the basement after Dad dug them. I swore I’d never grow a garden. Now, look at me! The first thing I planned when we bought this house with tons of land was a garden and fruit trees and bushes. I remember shelling peas and sneaking a few to eat that way. Now, my daughter does the same thing.

  34. I grew up on fried bologna sandwiches, grilled cheese, ramen, and fast food! I started learning how to cook when I got married in 2011 and then started learning about WHAT is in my food through and then eventually your blog soon after that! My husband had no idea WHAT hit him…but he’s been on board with all of my ‘crazy’ changes! 🙂

  35. I grew up as an only child and lived in the country next door to my grandparents. My cousin would often visit and we would play outside all day…all summer. One time, my grandpa bought us the cutest little ducklings! They were fun for about 2 weeks, then they just got mean and pecked at us! As the months passed, and we decided that we didn’t like the ducks anymore, the ducks “mysteriously” disappeared. I still remember finding out that Grandpa was making roasted duck one night. Hmmm…..

  36. I ate unhealthy growing up unfortunately. My parents being immigrants had a mindset that everything American is good even fast junk food! One of my favorite snacks growing up was crushed instant noodles! We would crush up uncooked instant noodle and take the powdered seasoning, put it in and shake it up and just ate it like that! Very unhealthy but I remember we would make bags of that and store it our room. Did anybody else do this?

  37. Where did you find the ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla? At healthy home market I could only find the ezekiel corn tortillas.

  38. My mom was a single mom working two jobs. I remember eating oatmeal for breakfast on the way to school. Dinner was always hot and on the table at 6 p.m. She helped with homework, school projects, and took me to karate and piano lessons. I don’t really know how she did it. I am now a single mom of two now, and overwhelmed. On days that are really tough, I think of her, and move ahead even stronger. I still continue to make sure the kids are fed hot healthy real food every evening for dinner. They help with the gardening, this is our special time together. Thanks for all your informative posts and recipes!

  39. I remember when one of my friends came over for dinner one night. My Sicilian mother made each of us our normal plates of pasta for dinner, and gave one to her. She ate what she could. My mother was insulted she didn’t finish. My friend told me that the amount on her plate was what normally fed her family of four. Oh, to be Italian!

  40. Love all these heartfelt stories today. Hope you can at least get a chuckle out of mine. A “healthy” snack for me growing up was a low-fat cookie and a Tab. I also remember thinking that I wanted to eat healthier, so I read all the food labels in our kitchen. The canned veggies had almost no nutrients listed (and I assumed canned and fresh were pretty close to the same), but the processed cereal was loaded with nutrients. So I determined that the healthiest diet would consist of lots of cereal and few vegetables. I have to laugh now and shake my head in disbelief. I had it all backwards!

  41. As a kid, I was actually given peanut butter and butter sandwiches. Yes, you read that right! And I loved them. Of course I wouldn’t dare to eat like that now… And Food Babe, I thought your post on beer was awesome! Someone has to be brave enough to put the truth out there!

  42. My childhood memories relating to food was my Mom always reminding my brother and I to eat our veggies. She only allowed us one coke a day and didn’t buy cookies or other desserts very often. Unfortunately, I grew up craving chocolate and sweets as a result of not having it in our house but tasting it at friend’s houses and at school functions. My Mom didn’t cook much as she was a nurse and as a teenager I did most of the cooking for my family which consisted of boxed meals 🙁 In my early twenties I started reading a couple of Dr. Mercola articles which my Mom forwarded me after my Dad died of cancer. That is when I began to discover real food and nutrition. I began surfing the web and subscribing to all the natural health & real food blogs I could find. That is what led me to you 🙂 Now I make as much as I can from scratch even with me and my huband working full time outside the home and a 5 year old daughter. Thank you for all you do Food Babe!

  43. My mom taught me that most of the nutrition in bread is contained in the crusts.

  44. Most of my childhood food memories are good ones, like eating fresh vegetables straight from the garden and watching my mom make fresh pasta. I’m so glad that she instilled a love of real food in my sister and I. We were very poor, however, so she also had to rely on the food provided by the government to keep us fed. Back then, you had to stand in line at warehouse buildings to get the different foods, including butter, peanut butter, and cheese. My sister called that awful, processed cheese “stand in line cheese” because of how you got it. I called it “stand in line cheese” because when you made a grilled cheese sandwich with it, it didn’t melt the same as real cheese, it just stood in line! We did love the super sugary peanut butter, though.

  45. Gosh! That looks amazing! I will make it this week! I have been trying to gather the courage to try dandelion greens, and I love pesto. 🙂

  46. Surprisingly, my grocer has organic dandelion greens! I wonder how it would taste if you do half basil and half dandelion?

  47. I am so going to try this recipe! Its the first time I have ever seen a recipe that included dandelions, but it reminds me of growing up. I come from an Italian family and dandelion salad was a normal dish. I had lots of friends with Italian backgrounds too and everyone always joked around about the Italians picking the dandelions off the lawns to eat.

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