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Dandelion greens

  • l

Bought them for the first time and sauteed them with just olive oil, garlic and salt. Could not get over the bitterness. Any suggestions to cut through the bitterness?

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  1. I sometimes nibble on baby dandelion greens when weeding my garden - even tiny baby leaves are really really bitter!

    I bet if you blanched them in a lot of water some of the bitter juice would be dissolved. But if you don't like the taste, why bother?

    Radicchio is also very very bitter, but a little bit is very nice in a salad, mixed with other non-bitter greens.

    1. Mark Bittman has an excellent recipe for dandelion greens in a warm bacon-mustard-shallot (? haven't made it in a while) vinaigrette. The greens are definitely bitter, but this adds some nice complementary flavor. I'm sure other recipes like it exist--I'd paraphrase, but I don't have it on hand right now.

      1. Boil in abundant salted water, drain, proceed. I have seen recommendations for boiling in multiple waters but one boil has always worked just fine for me. 3 to 5 minutes, depending.

        1. While bitterness is definitely part of their charm, it helps to balance things out by adding other strong flavors. There's a recipe in a recent issue of Saveur (part of an article about dandelion greens) for eggs and greens in a paste/sauce of anchovies, garlic and olive oil, which is delicious. Cracked chile flakes are also really good with various dandelion greens preparations.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Millicent

            This Saveur recipe is great. The fried egg on top is a must. I blanched my greens for 2 minutes before putting them in the saute pan with the other flavorings the second time I made the recipe, and it did cut down on the bitterness.

            1. re: emdb

              I have a childish squeamishness about egg yolks, so we've had this dish twice with scrambled eggs instead of fried. For people who like the richness of runny yolks, I'm sure the original version is great.

              Have you tried the dandelion soup recipe from the same article?

          2. Add a little lemon juice. It mellows the flavor of bitter greens.

            1 Reply
            1. re: butterfly

              Yes, a dandelion green salad with just olive oil and lemon and sea salt is wonderful. I find that the bitterness goes away -or should I say transforms- after a few bites and becomes in intoxicating freshness that I crave just from reading this thread.

              I'm not a bitter freak, but I am thrilled by the flavor evolution that happens with dandelion greens.

            2. Agree with Millicent about adding other flavors. I tried to eat them with just a simple dressing and was overwhelmed. Some egg, bacon/ham, anchovies definitely helped. I've decided that a little dandelion mixed in with other lettuces is the way to go for me, feel the same way about radicchio and to a lesser extent frisee, a little goes a long way.

              I guess I'm just really sensitive to their bitterness. Cooking & blanching made them even worse-I had a hard time even swallowing because they smelled unpleasant when heated & still tasted very bitter.

              I enjoy some bitterness in chocolate & coffee, but in dark colored vegetables it's just too much. Large artichokes sometimes have a bittersweet flavor that freaks me out.

              1 Reply
              1. re: petradish

                I'm in agreement on overly bitter veggies. Little goes a long way. My embittered experience w/ that radicchio in the fall is still seared into my food conscious, although the raw trauma has subsided. :-)

                We enjoyed some rapini the other night which has a pleasant amount of bitterness for me. Mixed into penne w/ tomatoes, garlic, EVOO, and shaved pecorino and it was a delight! Bacon would have made it even better.

                We then had a salad w/ organic greens that was just so overwhelmingly bitter from radicchio, arugula, and other unrecognizable greens. My husband then said, "Why are we eating this? Plants develop these toxins (which we perceive as bitterness) as a defense mechanism for survival." I laughed it off, but it wasn't so funny when my tummy didn't feel so good shortly after. It's amusing what we humans will eat, not eat, and work hard to like...

                I try to be an open-minded eater, but personally, I'll leave those dandelion greens out in my yard. Corn smut (huitlacoche) is an entirely different matter though...

              2. Chris Schlesinger has a recipe in one of his books for a dandelion salad with nectarines, ham, dandelion greens, and a peanut/molasses dressing. Sounds weird, but it's so delicious I became an instant dandelion convert (am in fact crossing my fingers that this week's farm share box has dandelion greens so I can indulge in this salad for the first time since last summer.) Will post a paraphrase, if you're interested.

                1. Here is one adapted from Paula Wolfert. I made it with dandelion greens and liked it but my wife refuses to eat it as she is more bitter sensitive than I.

                  Link: http://www.well.com/user/debunix/reci...