I. LOVE. GREENS. What can I say, it’s the southern in me.
Having to jump in and see what all the fuss was about, I bought some dandelion greens at the market the other day. Believe it or not, I’ve actually never had dandelion greens. They’re in season and pretty cheap. Yes, even though my yard is covered with these delectable treats, I did purchase them. Sadly in my yard, my dog likes to pee on them. They’re pee weeds. There I said it and it wasn’t something I could get over. So, to the store I went.
I knew exactly what I was going to serve them with. Rosemary Orange Glazed Grilled Dove seemed like a great seasonal pairing but what and how was I going to cook them? I fondly thought back to the days of childhood standing at the feet of my nanny, RoRo, while she worked a pot of greens on the stove. I remember smelling bacon fat sizzling away and her smiling down at me saying, “What? You think I’m gonna give some this bacon to you? Shh..it’s for my greens, girl!” It was family legend that she put snuff in her greens and that’s what made them so incredibly good but I knew her secret…bacon and vinegar. Although she never denied the snuff accusation.
Once I perfect RoRo’s collard green recipe I’ll share it with you but until then lets get back to the subject of dandelion greens. After a few thoughts and a little bit of childhood inspiration, I decided a mustard vinegar sauce would be perfect. I was out of bacon anyway.
The verdict: My first experience with dandelion greens was a success. I loved them — they were the most bitter green I have ever eaten. The earthy bitterness contrasted well with the bright tang of the vinaigrette and I will certainly be cooking them again. This is a bold delicious recipe that will pair great with grilled meats. If you’re a good forager, by all means go forth and forage, just make sure your dandelion greens are free from pesticides. If you would rather purchase, look for tall dandelion greens at your farmer’s market or specialty grocery stores (like Whole Foods) starting in September.
Dandelion Greens with Mustard Vinaigrette serves 4
- 1 large bunch tall dandelion greens
- 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 anchovy filet
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1/2 tablespoon
1. Roughly chop the dandelion greens discarding the tough stems.
2. In a blender, combine vinegar, mustard, anchovy, salt, and pepper. With the blender on high, slowly drizzle 1/3 cup olive oil in until combined. Turn off the blender and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the greens and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes until tender. Pour the vinaigrette over the greens, stir, and sauté for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and serve.