The Be Well Recipe: Cod with Dandelion-Pumpkin Seed Pesto

This wonderful, zingy pesto made from pumpkin seeds and dandelion greens brightens up a basic baked cod dish. Soaking the pumpkin seeds overnight not only makes them blend easier into the pesto but also begins the sprouting process, making them easier to digest.

Dandelions are a wonderful source of vitamins A and K and help the stimulate the liver for better digestion. The flavor is on the bitter side — the better for detoxing! — but this pesto is an easy introduction to eating dandelions. If you want to forage your own dandelion greens, be sure they are from chemical-free soil and wash them well.

Baked Cod with Dandelion-Pumpkin Seed Pesto (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped dandelion greens
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 4 portions
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season fish

Soak the pumpkin seeds in a small bowl with the water at least 6-8 hours or overnight.

Blend the soaked pumpkin seeds, with their soaking water, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley, dandelion greens and lemon zest and juice together until smooth in a blender or food processor. Scrape down the sides and then blend while drizzling in the olive oil.  Stir to make sure it has been smoothly blended.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Arrange the cod fillets on an oiled baking sheet and spread each with 2 tablespoons pesto. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with additional pesto, if desired.

"That Food Girl," better known as Betsy Nelson within the food industry has been working with food, in one capacity or another, for most of her life. She is a recipe developer and food stylist.