People with yards might not like to hear this, but I kind of like dandelions. I think they're an invasive species here in the states - people say they were imported by European immigrants as an ornamental flower - but I can't help but root for them in their ongoing resistance against the perfect herbicide and pesticide-laced American lawn. Their bright yellow flowers are one of the first signs that spring is finally here, and if that wasn't enough, the leaves and flowers are edible - and pretty good, at that. I think the leaves taste a little like arugula - on the bitter side, but not as bitter as mustard or turnip greens.
Some stores sell dandelion greens, but they're one of the easiest wild plants to forage, since we all know what a dandelion looks like. I picked these in a little grove of trees nearby where I am sure nobody has ever sprayed for weeds - that's obviously a concern when picking wild plants, though I did think for a moment that I don't give much thought to what's been used on non-organic vegetables that I buy. I've heard they're best in the early spring too, and that the older plants are more bitter. Given the slightly bitter taste, I thought they would make a decent, tart pesto, and this tasted a little like arugula pesto.
Here the pesto is tossed with some roasted cubed sweet potato - the sweetness is a great contrast to the subtle bitterness of the lemon juice and greens in the pesto. It's a simple salad, and you could get more creative with other added veggies - squash, red potatoes, sweet peppers, pasta, and beans would all be great. Here's what I used for the pesto, made in the food processor:
2 cups dandelion greens, washed well
1 cup flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
juice from 1/2 a lemon, 2 tbsp. or so