TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 4
Adapted from David Tanis’s Market Cooking
Once the daffodils and crocuses start pushing through in the early Spring, I immediately have what I can best describe as a “primordial craving” for fresh dandelion greens and nettles. These first Spring greens pack an alarming amount of vitamins, minerals, iron, and calcium. Dandelion greens are best known for their detoxifying properties, especially in relation to the liver and bile production.
The salt & fat from the bacon, umami-heat from raw garlic, and acid from fresh lemon makes this a salad that will most likely turn into one, very large serving (with zero regrets).
1 large bunch dandelion greens; stems trimmed & leaves roughly chopped or torn (smaller, tender leaves preferred, although larger leaves pack a little more ‘liver-detoxing’ bitterness)
4 slices bacon
3, “9-minute” boiled eggs
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, grated
2 tbls. red wine or sherry vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbls. Dijon mustard
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Parmesan, Gruyere, or other hard cheese, shaved (opt.)
1/2 large avocado, sliced or cubed (opt.)
Poppy seeds (I use an “everything” seasoning blend of poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, onion & salt; opt.)
1. If you haven’t yet boiled the eggs, bring a small pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add the eggs and boil for exactly 9 minutes. Transfer to cold water.
2. While the egg water is boiling, make the vinaigrette: Mix the garlic, vinegar, lemon, olive oil, mustard, salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
3. Fry the bacon in a large cast-iron pan until slightly crisp. Remove and let cool. Chop crosswise into 1/4 inch wide lardons.
4. Put the greens in a large salad bowl and lightly sprinkle with salt. Massage very gently for a few seconds. Dress with half the vinaigrette, tossing to coat.
5. Peel the eggs, and chop into quarters. Arrange the lardons, eggs, optional avocado slices/cubes, and shaved cheese on top. If you want a little crunch, add the poppy seeds or “everything” seasoning, or other favorite nut/seed.