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dandelion greens

Braised Greens with Tomatoes & Leeks

TIME: 1 HOUR; SERVES: 6 - 8
Adapted from Bon Appetit

This dish is the perfect companion to crispy chicken on a frigid Fall evening (ideally after a light frost when the greens get shocked into sweetness). In late September, when I’m sick of canning tomatoes, I’ll toss the last couple harvests into my chest freezer. This has become my preferred preserving method, because when I take them out to thaw, the skins easily slip off, releasing their liquid and further concentrating their flavor. I used a variety called Jaune Flamme in this recipe— a small, bright orange heirloom that is exceptionally sweet, but still packs a tangy punch. Smoky paprika and melting leeks make this a substantial dish on its own, particularly if sprinkled with pine nuts and crumbled goat cheese.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbls. high-heat oil or bacon grease
2 bunches hardy greens (kale, dandelion, collards, etc.), stems removed or finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large leek, cut in half lengthwise and rinsed clean, chopped into half moons
3 cloves garlic, peeled & slivered
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2+ tsp. red wine or sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups bone broth (chicken, pork, or veggie)
1/2 cup stewed or roasted tomatoes, cooked down
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Pine nuts & goat cheese, to serve (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat oil or bacon grease in a large, heavy bottom pan over medium heat.

  2. when the pan is hot enough to sizzle water, add the onions, leek, and garlic. Cook until softened, about 7 - 10 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes & paprika, and cook for another 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Add the broth & vinegar, and bring to a boil.

  5. Add the greens in batches. Stir to incorporate, and simmer until tender, 20 - 30 minutes, partially uncovered. Season again to taste, and garnish.

Topped with pine nuts and Turmeric-Ginger Sauerkraut

Topped with pine nuts and Turmeric-Ginger Sauerkraut

Dandelion Salad with Bacon & Jammy Eggs

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).

INGREDIENTS

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.)

METHOD

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.

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