Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fresh from the Farmers Market: Dandelion Greens

Now that spring is in full swing the farmers market is up and running again, and there’s no better place to be. The lush, vibrant produce is so inspiring after the long winter.

If these displays don’t make you get excited about cooking and eating your vegetables, then nothing will.

Of course, there are sweets there too to tempt you as you load up on the healthy stuff.

Eat your vegetables and you earn your dessert, right?

Believe it or not though, I’m drawn to the greens more than the sweets this time. The rainbow of greens.

This day my basked is filled with eggs, kale, chard, arugula, broccoli raab, dandelion greens, red radishes, daikon radishes, a chuck-eye steak, and a pork rib chop.

The Clio Italian dandelion greens were mislabeled puntarelle, which is what gave me the idea for this salad.

Dandelion Greens with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing & Crispy Crumbs
Printable Recipe

1 1-pound bunch young dandelion greens, chopped
3 ounces sourdough bread, torn into pieces
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ounce grated Parmegiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeeze lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, grated
3 anchovy fillets, minced
Freshly ground black pepper

Soak the dandelion greens in a large bowl of ice-cold water for 30 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Toss together the breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons of the oil in a small bowl, making sure that the breadcrumbs are evenly coated. Stir in the Parmegiano and a generous pinch of salt. Spread on a baking tray and bake, stirring once or twice, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

Whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and anchovies in a small bowl. Continue whisking while adding the remaining 1/3 cup oil in a thin stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Drain the dandelion greens and dry in a salad spinner. Toss together the dandelion greens and dressing in a large bowl and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange the salad on individual plates, divide the breadcrumbs among them, and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side salad. This recipe was inspired by the classic Roman puntarelle salad with anchovy dressing. Italian dandelion, like puntarelle and other chicories, has a pleasantly bitter flavor. Use young dandelion greens for this salad and other raw applications as they are relatively tender and sweet. Soaking the dandelion greens in ice water, though not absolutely necessary, leeches out excess bitterness and makes them crisp and succulent.


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Suzanne said...

Dandelion (dents de lion) are very popular in Europe in spring. In Valais, Switzerland we make a salad Lyonnaise with the delicious, tender greens. One preparation I love is poached egg, lardons and vinaigrette.

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