Spring has finally hit the midwest and as token of it’s arrival i’ve been finding patches of dandelions popping up all over. I know that these are just weeds but these weeds are sporting my all time favorite color (yellow) and therefore they deserve a little more consideration. Round Up is not good enough for these little cuties. They are much better suited for a skillet with a pad of butter and some chopped garlic and just a hint of chili flakes. Prepared this way they are living out their true destiny.
Living in the midwest has really ignited the inner forager in me and i’ve been aching to try my hand at it. The husband on the other hand. Not so much. Something about it not coming in a plastic container, ladden with pesticides and bought at an inflatted price just doesn’t appeal to him. No not really. Actually from the way in which he sniffed and then skeptically took that first bite told me he thought I might be poisoning him. I found the show he put on quite amusing. But after the initial skepticism and my showing him on google where it said that dandelion greens are in fact tasty and non lethal, he decided that he would eat them again and that they were in fact pretty good eats. Score! A convert!
And for all you healthy minded:
According to the USDA Bulletin #8, “Composition of Foods” dandelions are nature’s richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, from which Vitamin A is created, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of all foods, after cod-liver oil and beef liver! They also are particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of protein.
Given that common sense is not as prevalent these days I should say that you may not want to pick dandelion greens if the ground has been previously sprayed with poisons or dogs have peed on it. Wouldn’t be so tasty and could end badly. Also the smaller leaves are less bitter and can even be eaten fresh in salads. If you do pick the larger leaves you will want to boil them two to three times with fresh water each time to wash out some of the bitterness.
1 tsp. salt
1lb. dandelion greens, (I filled up a plastic grocery sack about 2/3 full)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1/2 onion finely diced
1/4 tsp. red chili flakes (optional)
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Soak dandelion greens in a large bowl of cold water with 1 teaspoon salt for 10 minutes. Drain.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook greens until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onions and red pepper flakes until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Increase heat to medium-high and add dandelion greens. Continue to cook and stir until liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
I thought this was too precious not to share!