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Oct 8, 2007 10:58 AM

Do you like dandelion greens? Why? (and how do you make them?)

My CSA is sending me a big bunch of dandelion greens every week. I just took my latest stab at making these bitter, acrid things tasty, and failed again. If you're a fan, can you tell me how you prepare them such that they don't taste like punishment?

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  1. They are a bitter green for sure. Your best bet is to eat them raw mixed in with other "sweeter" salad greens. Add them to salad as you would add frissee, arugula, belgian endive, treviso, or radicchio. It's a very pleasant acccompaniment. When adding bitter greens to a salad, don't use a variety. Use one or two types at most. Think contrasting flavors - not domination.

    I also prepare them in a Pugliese fashion where they are first parboiled, then sauteed with garlic and evoo, served with a dried fava bean puree and some crusty pane Pugliese. Delicious, but can be very bitter. Top with a drizzling of evoo (perhaps some grated cheese).

    Fave e cicoria:

    Pane Pugliese:

    Lastly, I'm sure you could prepare them with a smoked hock like you would collards. The bitterness of the green will be masked somewhat, but not much.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cheese Boy

      The April 1999 issue of Saveur had a great lentil/dandelion soup from Egypt. It involved cooking a cup of lentils in 9 cups of water until tender, then sauteeing onion, garlic, red chile, and grated ginger together for 10 minutes. The mixture is added to the lentils, along with dandelion greens, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper and cooked until the greens are tender. If the taste is a bit blah after the soup has cooked, I sometimes add a half chicken bouillon cube and simmer for a few minutes.

      I serve it with dollop of yoghurt.

    2. I mix them with arugula and then sweeten up the salad by adding dried craisons, goat cheese and a black rice vinegarette (less acidity in black rice vinegar). Did that at a dinner this past weekend and everyone raved.

      1 Reply
      1. re: holy chow

        I prefer them cooked. If you blanch them in boiling water and then saute in olive oil they become much less bitter. Add some garlic, maybe bacon or pancetta, and YUM.

      2. I actually like bitter greens, so you may wish to read no further. In any case, I love dandelions best in a French-style salad -- with lardons (okay, bacon) and drizzle over a vinaigrette made with the hot bacon grease.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sea97horse

          Yes - bacon fat seems to loooove bitter greens, and vice versa. It's the only way we use dandelion greens. Plus, an excuse for bacon!

          1. re: sea97horse

            This is how my grampa would make them and I loved it as a kid. I never get them these days. :)

            1. re: sea97horse

              Proof that bacon makes everything better, including backyard weeds!!!! ;)

            2. oh i love bitter greens -

              here's one of my favorite ways to prepare dandelions. have a pot of orecchiete on the go - or some other pasta which holds sauces nicely. saute a bit of garlic in good quality extra virgin olive oil, toss in a few anchovies and saute them until they dissolve. meanwhile blanch the greens quickly, drain and add to anchovies, garlic and oil. reserve a cup of the pasta cooking liquid. drain the pasta, add to greens mixture along witha good sized knob of butter and some cooking liquid if it seems too dry. give ita quick turn or two on the heat and serve with reggiano.

              to put a sicilian/catalan twist on this, just add some raisins and toasted bread crumbs at the end.

              1 Reply
              1. re: potterstreet

                I like your addition of anchovies. I make a very similar dish with broccoli rabe, but I've usually added slices of hot Italian sausage rather than anchovies. I'll have to give your version a try.

              2. just straight up sauted in olive oil and lots of garlic
                served with loaf of crusty bread yummy
                i will eat that just as a meal itself