Photo and text by KARA DiCAMILLO
Last week, through my farm share with Simmons Organic Farm, one of the vegetables I picked up was dandelion greens. I have to admit that normally these would probably go into my refrigerator, not to be thought of again until they are wilted and thrown out.
But thanks to you, dear readers, I did some research and experimenting and found that dandelion greens are actually quite delicious.
Like most greens, dandelions are a good one to incorporate into your diet because they support liver health and the liver, of course, detoxifies your body. Dandelion leaves are peppery and can sometimes be tough and bitter. I wouldn’t recommend eating them raw, but you can simply sauté them with olive oil in garlic and they are delicious.
I found that these greens are versatile, and you can really add what you want whether it is vegetables, bacon or even lentils. In this recipe, I’ve added a few more flavors to the dandelion greens to balance out the bitterness. This dish can be served as a side or even mixed with pasta and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
Summer is here and a few more farmers markets are opening this weekend, so make sure to look for dandelion greens.
Mediterranean-Style Dandelion Greens
Serves 2 (as a side dish)
4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Half-pound of dandelion greens, de-stemmed and chopped
Freshly cracked pepper
1 roasted red pepper, sliced lengthwise (jarred or charred on the grill)
1 teaspoon of capers
6 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced in half
Half of a lemon, juiced (about two tablespoons)
Heat the oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant, and then add the dandelion greens. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté the greens. Once the greens have wilted, about 2 minutes, add the roasted red pepper, capers and olives, and stir, heating through. Finish with the lemon juice and serve immediately.