dandelion raw

As impulse purchases go, this one seemed like a bust.

I’d grabbed a bunch of dandelion greens during a weekend stop at Roots Market. The idea was to make a dandelion and kale salad for Sunday’s dinner.

One bite, though, of the pungent greens, and I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

Lots of people love raw dandelion greens. But while I have no shrinking palate, they were too assertive for me. Too bitter. Too strident. Too … “raw.”

Three days later, those greens were still in my vegetable bin.

“What a waste,” I thought, tallying up their cost and the copious amounts of Vitamins A and C we were losing by not eating them. “I wonder if I can tame them.”

Happily, the answer was yes. As with other bitterly assertive greens (watercress comes to mind), a bit of heat brings out their gentler side. Trimmed, wilted, then tossed with sweet roasted carrots, grainy mustard and a dash of red wine vinegar, the greens went from dandy lion to dandy lamb. They maintained just enough bite to bring out the carrots’ sweetness; just enough “chew” to keep a soft dish from becoming monotonous.

I’ll buy dandelion greens again.

This time with a plan.

Roasted Carrots & Dandelion Greens

dandelion dish

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch slices
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens, tough center stem removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon grainy mustard

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them on a greased, rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Stir, then roast an additional 5-10 minutes, until they’re fork tender. Remove from the oven and place in a bowl.

dandelion cookedHeat a saute pan over medium heat. Glaze it with olive oil, then add the dandelion greens. Season with salt and pepper, then toss until they wilt. Add them to the same bowl as the carrots.

Whisk together the red wine vinegar and the grainy mustard. Pour over the vegetables and toss well.

Serve warm or cold.

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