Quinoa and Brown Rice Spaghetti with Garlicky Dandelion Greens, Lentils, Golden Beets and Pistachio Mint Pesto

 

I went to the Brentwood Farmer's Market with my friend Elan this past weekend, and we picked up some fresh goodies! We were looking for greens that we don't normally eat, so we chose dandelion greens. We ended up loving their neutral flavor, as it makes it easy to flavor or season the green to your liking. It's not as bitter or peppery as kale or arugula, making it a great option for salads as well.

Dandelion greens have a TON of nutrients; they are abundant in calcium, vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, and vitamin E. Combining the greens with golden beets, heirloom tomatoes, fresh mint pesto, and the lentils makes it a fresh and nutritious rainbow-filled meal. I forget how much I love the farmer's market!

Ingredients:

  • For the pasta:
  • 1/2 cup quinoa and brown rice spaghetti (can purchase at Trader Joes)
  • A large handful of dandelion greens (I used half a bunch)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small golden beet
  • 1/2 cup heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lentils, cooked
  • For the pesto:
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio meats
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off stem of beet and cover in tinfoil. Roast on a baking sheet for about 45 minutes. Peel by immediately rinsing beet in cold water.

2. While beet is roasting, cook your pasta according to package.

3. Prepare your dandelion greens by eating up some olive oil in the pan. Chop your garlic and add with dandelion greens. Toss until wilted.

4. To prepare pesto, blend mint, pistachios, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic together. Add more mint or oil as needed, depending on how thick you like your pesto. Lemon can also be used to loosen pesto. 

5. When beets are finished, dice them. Toss your pasta, pesto, lentils, and veggies together in a pan with dandelion greens until evenly coated and mixed.