Dandelion Greens – A Recipe

May 03, 2011

I recently came home from a photo shoot with a huge bunch of dandelion greens. Yes, I know, I have plenty of dandelion greens popping up in my yard–don’t remind me–but these were so nice I hated to turn them down.

I had planned to give them to the chicks, but as I chopped a big bowlful I decided these greens were much too nice to give all of them to the girls. So I set about creating a recipe to feature these spring treats using leftover Easter ham and some Yukon gold potatoes.

Dandelions are more than pesky weeds; they’re also surprisingly tasty greens — bold vibrant flavor with a slightly bitter edge and packed with nutrition.  In many parts of the country, dandelions are at their prime right now and can be gathered just by summoning your inner forager. Look for natural dandelion leaves (without any pesticides) that occur before the flower stalk forms and blossoms. Dig them out, rinse them well and turn them into salads, side dishes, tea and more.

They’re perfect paired with some of my favorite accents such as bacon, garlic, vinegar, blue cheese, and onion. Add them to salads, omelets or frittatas, bean dishes, soups, or any place you would use spinach, Swiss chard or other greens. And now that I’m getting into this, it’s really too bad I never learned to make my grandfather’s dandelion wine.

Dandelion Greens with Smoky Ham and Crisp Potato Croutons

These sauteed dandelion greens are paired with fresh spinach, accented with chunks of smoky ham, sweet-tart balsamic vinegar and topped with fried potato cubes. Serve them as a light main course or a side dish to grilled meats or roasts.

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2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled, cubed (1/2 inch), cooked
1/2 cup cubed ham
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
4 oz. dandelion greens, chopped (4 cups) (including stems and ribs if small)
2 oz. fresh baby spinach (2 cups)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add cooked potato cubes in one layer and cook 6 to 9 minutes or until golden brown, turning occasionally. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper; drain on paper towels.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ham and garlic and cook 1 minute or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add dandelion greens; cook 5 minutes or until tender and wilted, reducing heat to medium-low after about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach is slightly wilted. Add balsamic; bring to a boil.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Serve topped with potato croutons.

Serves 2 as a main course; 4 as a side dish

2 Responses to “Dandelion Greens – A Recipe”

  1. May 05, 2011 at 1:53 pm, Debbie said:

    Just read your book, and as it appealed to two of my passions, cooking and chickens (not necessarily in the that order), it was a great read. Can’t wait to try some of the recipes (I am currently recovering from surgery on both arms, so just reading at the moment!). I could completely relate to your experiences with your girls. Although we have a bigger backyard and live in the county so have more chickens (16, all bantams, two roosters, rare breeds ‘funky chickens’ as my husband calls them), they of course all have names and are much loved and hugged and thanked for their lovely and delicious eggs that we share with the whole family. Who knew something like a chicken could be so much fun? Think I will go out now and watch what we like to call “chicken TV” (better than real TV).

    deb g
    Kentucky.

    Reply

    • May 05, 2011 at 2:28 pm, admin said:

      Hi Debbie,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed my book! i love the idea that you have all those chickens, I wish I only had more room…. they are addicting! Bantams would be so much fun. Please get better soon so you can hug your chickens and thanks so much for sharing with me.

      Reply

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