Spring doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but judging by the produce that's popping up at the farmers market, the season's already begun. Edible weeds like fresh dandelion greens are at the peak of their season now through mid-Spring — and, with their mildly astringent, pleasantly bitter flavor, they're not to be missed. To find out how they're used,
Dandelion greens, which are named after the phrase dent de lion, or "lion's tooth," have jagged, irregular leaves. Look for firm, fresh, tender, bright green leaves that aren't discolored or wilted. When refrigerated in a plastic bag, they will keep for a few days. Like spinach, dandelion greens are commonly enjoyed raw, but they also taste fantastic sautéed, braised, or even stewed:
- Wash, trim, tear, and toss in your favorite salad medley.
- Sauté with garlic, onions and pine nuts; finish with goat cheese crumbles.
- Substitute spinach for dandelion greens in spanakopita, the traditional Greek dish.
- Make Provençal soup: Sauté leeks, and garlic, add greens until wilted, and then simmer over water until greens are tender. Temper in a couple of beaten eggs, turn off the heat, and top with croutons and Parmesan cheese.
- Add another layer of flavor to a stew: throw in greens and cook until wilted.
What do you think of dandelion greens? If you've been a longtime fan, tell us: What are your favorite ways to enjoy them?