Published April 12, 2023 Pesto is one of the easiest, most versatile, and most delicious ways to get your medicine in on aregular basis and make the most of weedy spring medicinals! It’s also incredibly nutrient densewith the addition of medicinal weeds and can be spread onto just about anything. Plus, whodoesn’t love kitchen medicine?Some of my favorite additions to a classic pesto recipe include dandelion greens, nettles,chickweed, miner’s lettuce, wild mustard, and other nutrient-dense plants we often call weeds. Ialso like to throw in carrot tops, beet greens, or leftover leafy greens like kale and arugula toreduce my household food waste and make the most of the ingredients I have available to me.This recipe in particular uses one of the most abundant medicinal weeds, Dandelion, orTaraxacum officinale. It also uses optional carrot tops that I had lying around from some carrotsI used in a dish the day prior. A FEW OF THE MANY MEDICINAL AND NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF DANDELION INCLUDE: PolyphenolsBitter flavor (to support liver and digestive health)Blood purificationLowered blood pressureVitamins, minerals, and nutrients (choline, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium,Phosphorus, Calcium, Iron, Riboflavin, Fiber)Some of the medicinal benefits of carrot greens or tops include:Vitamins, minerals, and nutrients (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Fiber)Immunity supportBone health supportAntioxidants that aid in improving vision When harvesting edible and medicinal weeds, a 100% accurate ID is always incredibly important. Dandelion has lots of common lookalikes, so making sure you know for a fact that theplant you want to harvest is dandelion should be a top priority. Additionally, many weeds like togrow in disturbed areas such as roadsides or lawns sprayed with pesticides. Make sure theplace you are harvesting from is free from potential contaminants.Here is a delicious weedy pesto made using dandelion greens, carrot tops, and traditional pestoingredients! INGREDIENTS: 3 cups dandelion greens of edible weeds of choice (nettles, wild mustard, chickweed, miner’s lettuce, etc.1 cup fresh basil1⁄2 cup carrot tops4-6 cloves garlic1⁄3 cup chopped walnuts (or pine nuts)2 tbsp nutritional yeast (or cheese of choice)1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oilJuice of half a lemonSalt and pepper to taste INSTRUCTIONS: Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend on low-medium in 15 secondincrementsContinue blending until the consistency is grainy but spreadableScoop into a bowl and serve!You can also add the pesto to an ice tray and freeze it for prolonged use, however it’s so tasty itmay not even last more than a few days! I like to put this pesto on bread, eggs, pizza, pasta, dipfresh vegetables and crackers in it, and stir it into a soup. I hope you enjoy this easy recipe that packs in a nutritional punch! This recipe was developed by Jaskrit Bhalla. Jaskrit is the founder of Inner Garden Wellness, a small business that centers around the roles that nature, kitchen medicine, and connection play in the human experience. Jaskrit is also a certified yoga instructor and meditation facilitator, permaculture designer, California Naturalist, and currently a student of herbal medicine, nutrition, and field botany.Click here to follow Jaskrit on Instagram where she shares everything from in depth information on bioregional plants to inspiring plant centric recipes.