Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weeding the Garden


Assuming you don't spray your lawn or garden with pesticides, make the most of tedious weeding duties by claiming dandelion greens as prize for your efforts. Allowed to reach heights of a foot or more, commercially grown greens are often far more bitter and suffer further from sitting in supermarket produce aisles days at a time. Your own front yard boasts far tastier specimens. After tearing away bottom roots and rinsing well in several changes of water you'll be adding this sharp-flavored greens to salads and skillets galore. Of course they are still quite bitter so use accordingly. Cafe Drake HRV loves a few chopped leaves tossed with the mild butteriness of Boston/Bibb lettuce. Try them as a counterfoil to creamy, rich dressings such as bleu cheese. 

Or celebrate an Italian spring with a quick side dish like this: chop 1-2 pounds dandelion greens into 2-3 inch sized pieces and boil for 5 minutes or so. Drain very well - squeeze the water out as needed -  and then saute in a skillet with olive oil, garlic and sliced onion for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and crushed red pepper and serve warm, as a vegetable side dish or a topping for crostini

Simply amazing tossed with warm pasta, fresh ricotta and grated Parmesan cheese. A dear friend of Cafe Drake HRV swears by dandelion greens cooked for a minute in a hot skillet with crisped and rendered pancetta.

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