When I told my friend Gina that I was writing my next post about dandelions, she said,"Great! So, how do you get rid of them?" Wasn't she suprised when I replied, "You eat them!" Dandelions are the delight of many young children, often the first "flower" they pick into a beautiful bouquet. They symbolize clarity, illumination, and survival, and is a tonic herb aiding digestion, supporting liver function, and maintaining urinary health. When the leaves are young and tender, they add texture and a nice punch to salad greens. When steamed, the flower tastes a lot like artichokes. Even the root is edible and when roasted, it's an excellent addition to medicinal teas, with a flavor similar to coffee...without the caffeine. So, in honor of my foodie friend Gina, and in hopes that you all might forego the herbicides this Spring as your lawns turn green (and yellow with white puff balls), I'll pass along this recipe that I adapted from my instructor, Demetria Clark.
Sauteed Dandelion Greens
2 cups cleaned dandelion leaves
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion (vadalia or walla walla are my favorites)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms
1T olive oil
2T pine nuts (or slivered almonds)
Sautee garlic and onions in the olive oil until soft and aromatic. Add mushrooms and sautee another minute or 2. Add dandelion greens and reduce heat to low. Allow greens to steam for 15 - 20 minutes adding a tablespoon of water as needed to prevent scorching (the older the greens, the longer they should steam). Remove from heat and serve with a sprinkling of pine nuts.