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What to do with dandelion greens?

f
foiegras Jul 17, 2010 04:41 PM

So I bought a bunch, and the flavor is too assertive for my originally intended purpose. Any ideas for me??? TIA.

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  1. goodhealthgourmet Jul 17, 2010 04:51 PM

    what was your originally intended purpose? ideas here to get you started:
    http://search.chow.com/search?query=dandelion+greens&advanced=1&from_date=&type=Topic&sort_mode=relevance&from_date_select=&search_boardgroup_id=10&search_board_id=31&user_name=&post_title=

    or make the Chickpea & Dandelion Salad from M Cafe in Los Angeles:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6238...

    1. i
      Isoldamay Jul 17, 2010 04:51 PM

      Whenever a veggie is too assertive for the tastes of someone in my family, I cook it in salted water 'til tender, drain, and then serve with tahini sauce. Mix tahini with lemon juice; sauce will "seize" up, then dilute with water until creamy. Salt if desired. You can even use a pinch of sugar or honey. This works for a lot of bitter greens. NB: It will not work with brussels sprouts. Nothing cures those.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Isoldamay
        invinotheresverde Jul 18, 2010 07:44 AM

        Agreed. If you boil the greens in salted water first, much of the bitterness will be boiled out and remain in the water. I then saute the greens with olive oil, garlic, shallots, s and p. Yum.

        1. re: invinotheresverde
          a
          Altarbo Jul 20, 2010 01:40 AM

          Quite yum. I have hard getting people to eat it once they find out it's a weed tho; so I just say "greens" with sauteed garlic.

          One of my favorite things about this kind of preparation is the interesting by-product of the dandelion liquor in the pot. Bitter, salty, fragrant, rich, perfect for boiling noodles in.

      2. Windy Jul 17, 2010 06:59 PM

        They are delicious as salad with honey-lemon-olive oil dressing. Dissolve 1 T of honey in equal parts olive oil and lemon juice. Add coarse salt. The sweetness of the dressing perfectly counteracts the bitterness of the greens.

        If it's a thick honey, you might put the spoon in hot water first.

        I love this, and always find them disappointing cooked.

        1. BigSal Jul 17, 2010 08:57 PM

          A classic combination is pureed fava beans with dandelion greens. You can serve this with toasted bread (crostini).

          1. b
            bongomama Jul 18, 2010 07:21 AM

            I let a patch of dandelion greens grow unharmed in my garden just so I can make Mark Bittmans Green Mashed Potatoes. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/din...
            The creaminess of the potatoes makes a perfect foil for the bitterness of the greens. Add garlic to the potatoes and you've got the perfect side to roasted chicken.

            4 Replies
            1. re: bongomama
              f
              foiegras Jul 18, 2010 05:09 PM

              Thanks for all the ideas :)

              I originally bought them as a salad green, but they overwhelmed the other ingredients (including the dressing) with their bitterness.

              1. re: foiegras
                v
                Val Jul 18, 2010 05:49 PM

                Foiegras, did you mix the dandelion with OTHER greens too in the salad? Often, they add a bitter component to other softer, "sweeter" greens, we've found and the mix is usually very pleasing...but everyone's palate is different! My son was visiting here in March and said he missed my salads because there was a soft, sweet and bitter part to it (which I told him he could easily replicate in San Francisco) ... just thought I'd ask!
                I'd bought a pot of red-ribbed dandelion back in September and have enjoyed adding that to our green salad along with romaine and fresh flat-leaf parsley...some red oak lettuce, etc.

                1. re: Val
                  f
                  foiegras Jul 19, 2010 04:24 PM

                  I didn't ... these seem to be a particularly bitter batch, and the salad kind of a mainstream 'American' one ... it was just poor planning on my part. I thought the other ingredients were going to be strong enough, but they just weren't. I'm thinking of pasta and bacon at the moment after reading the other thread ...

                2. re: foiegras
                  a
                  Altarbo Jul 20, 2010 01:46 AM

                  Dandelions increase in bitterness over their lifetime. The bigger the leaf, the more bitter. When I'm able to harvest smaller leaves, I'm big fan of making a salad out them with diced thistle, mock strawberries, blackberries, and simple vinagrette. There's a strong appeal to making a meal out of something, that I'll still be able to eat when the world ends.

                  Species is also a factor. There's a weed that's technically (Texas dandelion) edible. It's just impossibly bitter. Then there are the different dandelion bred for color and lack of bitterness.

                  And then there's this:
                  http://supertastertest.com/

              2. Passadumkeg Jul 18, 2010 06:09 PM

                Wilt in bacon grease.
                Make wine from the flowers; best weed control ever.
                Don't use any from art. fertilized lawns.

                1. Infomaniac Jul 19, 2010 05:55 AM

                  Here is a recipe I use from Yankee magazine for Dandelion Pesto.

                  Dandelion Pesto
                  2 cups tightly packed dandelion leaves, well-rinsed and dried
                  1 dozen large basil leaves
                  2 garlic cloves
                  1 cup lightly toasted hazelnuts (skins removed), or toasted almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts
                  1/2 cup olive oil
                  1/2cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
                  Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

                  In the bowl of a food processor or blender, pulse together dandelion leaves, basil, garlic, and nuts. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the motor running, add olive oil and process until a smooth paste forms. Pulse in cheese if you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

                  1. BiscuitBoy Jul 19, 2010 06:22 AM

                    A simple salad, or in addition to other salad greens....I'm liking passa's bacon grease idea tho

                    1. m
                      myaco Jul 19, 2010 09:23 PM

                      Just an observation: The dandelions I've seen at commercial markets are always HUGE- so likely to be tough and very bitter, not edible. My family always got young, small tender dandelions. Even then then are tangy and bitter - an acquired taste. Good luck -!

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