Friday, June 15, 2007

I don't know if I'm a fan

Last weekend at the Moss St. Market I picked up some Italian dandelion greens (among other tasty fresh vegetables). I was clueless about how to prepare them, but they looked really pretty - all vibrant and green with strong red stems. Kind of like... well, fancy dandelions.

Anyhow, last night they were the only vegetables left in the fridge. So I hit the internet and found a general consensus that dandelions should be simmered or boiled until they're not bitter anymore, then dressed how you like.

That's a great theory. Maybe these ones were too old, but they didn't get not-bitter. They got slightly less bitter. Slightly. Very slightly.

I boiled them for 8 minutes in lightly salted water. Then when they were in danger of losing their vibrant colour, I drained them and tossed them with a generous pat of butter, a big splash of balsamic vinegar and a slightly less big splash of maple syrup.

The end result was definitely... not bad. I ate them quite happily, Stirling ate them quite happily, and Rowan even ate some voluntarily (I snuck some more into her disguised as chicken). We could still taste the bitterness, but the dressing certainly mellowed it. They had a strong enough flavour, though, that we could still taste the greens, and not just the maple/balsamic. The texture was VERY nice, tender but substantial.

So, not a definite thumbs-up, but I'd do it again.


Anonymous Hera said...

Hey spughy,

2 ways to deal with dandelion greens.
1. Parboil them in salted water, then drain and rinse with cold. Then do it again, and maybe again. They keep their color surprisingly well and lose the bitterness after a while.
2. Wash them, then rub with 1 T coarse salt and stick them in a collander over a bowl for an hour. Rinse them, squeeze them dry, and shred.

Then you can saute them or whatever.

I'm pulling this from Mediterranean Grains and Greens by Paula Wolfert which is a good one. I've only tried the parboiling with dandelions and it worked. I've salted other greens, but nothing so bitter. I think it would do the trick.

11:58 PM  

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