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Dandelion Greens

Nutritional information:
Dandelion, both root and leaves, is a remarkable bitter tonic for the spleen-pancreas, stomach, kidneys, and liver.  It is an effective diuretic, laxative, and antirheumatic.  Dandelion stimulates liver function, reduces swelling and inflammation, and improves digestion.  Dandelion is antiviral and useful in the treatment of AIDS and herpes.  It treats jaundice, cirrhosis, edema due to high blood pressure, gout, eczema, and acne.  It is used to treat (and prevent) breast and lung tumors and for premenstrual bloating.  Dandelion root contains inulin, which lowers blood sugar in diabetics.  

A cup of dandelion greens provides nearly a day's requirement of vitamin A in the form of antioxidant carotenoid and a third of the daily vitamin C requirement.  It contains more calcium than broccoli and is an excellent source of potassium.  Dandelion greens are also low in  Saturated Fat, very low in Cholesterol, and a good source of Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Manganese.

Storage information
Do NOT wash your greens until you are ready to use them.  Store them in a plastic container or bag in your refrigerator, as you would lettuce.  Greens are most nutritious if used within a few days of picking although they do keep well for a week or so refrigerated.  Wash leaves submerged in cold water before using them.  These vegetables tend to retain grit from the ground they were grown in and some may require two or three washings.

Another tip for storing greens: wash and shake dry.  Wrap in waxed paper, put in plastic bag and close.

Fun food facts:
Dandelions are great in salads or can be cooked. If they are cooked they don't need long cooking like the sturdier greens of collards etc. below is a simple cooked recipe for them if you?re looking for an official recipe. Dandelions are a bit bitter, French and Italian cooks and eaters enjoy the bitterness, Americans can sometimes be put off by the bitterness. If your family isn't sure about it, try one of the richer recipes with bacon, or plenty of olive oil and chile flakes for a vegetarian, even vegan, version. If you're sure everyone at your table (including you) will NOT enjoy the dandelions, find an Italian or French friend who will enjoy how fresh they are.

Simple from scratch:
Plain Cooked Mild Dandelions
adapted from Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables by E. Schneider
1 generous bunch dandelion greens, cleaned and stems removed
2 Tablespoons butter or ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
S & P to taste
Blanch the greens by dunking into boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain, drop into a bowl of ice water, then drain again. Chop and set aside.
Shortly before serving, sauté dandy greens in a skillet in butter until heated through. Or boil cream for a few minutes to reduce it slightly, then add greens and simmer until almost no liquid remains. Season to taste with S & P and serve. Serves 4

Julia's butter note: I sometimes substitute a smaller amount of another cooking oil, and sometimes I use butter, you could use just 1 T in this recipe. It depends on what I?m serving with it: how heavy it is, will there be dessert, etc. Adapt to your kitchen and circumstance, adapt every day!

Other recipes:
Dandelion Greens
Information provided by Marielle Arsac

Dandelion Salad with Anchovy Dressing
adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle Serves 4
2 bunches Dandelion Greens
6 Anchovy Filets
5 stalks green garlic, cleaned as you would a leek and chopped
1/4 cup cooking oil, such as olive
2 T dark vinegar, such as balsamic
S & P to taste
Wash and dry dandelion greens. Cut into 2" long slivers. Mash anchovy filets with garlic; blend in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss leaves with dressing, then divide among 4 plates. Season with S & P and serve at room temperature with thick slices of chewy bread.
Per serving: Calories: 165, Protein: 5g, Carbohydrates: 13g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 221mg, Fiber: 2g.

Dandelion Greens Sauté
1 lb. dandelion greens
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Wash and slice greens. Blanch in enough water to cover about 1 minute. Drain and saute in the olive oil for 3-4 minutes, then add the sesame and garlic and saute for couple minutes more. Add the sesame oil and serve.

Dandelions with Green Garlic
adapted from Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables by E. Schneider
3 Tablespoons pork, chicken, duck, goose, or bacon fat
2 stalks minced green garlic (use the white and light green part, as you would a leek)
1 large bunch dandelion greens, cleaned and trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces
about ½ cup stock of any flavor
S & P to taste
optional: hot sauce or pepper vinegar
Heat fat in a large skillet; add garlic and stir. Add greens and stock and cook over moderate heat, partly covered, for 2 minutes.
Uncover and continue cooking until greens are tender and liquid has almost evaporated. (Timing can vary considerably - from 3-4 minutes to 15, depending upon the age and size of the leaves.) If liquid evaporates before leaves are sufficiently tender, add stock.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and hot sauce or hot vinegar if you like. Serves 4

Salad of Dandelion and Fresh Goat Cheese
adapted from Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables by E. Schneider
1 bunch dandelion greens, cleaned and dried
about 1/4 pound fresh white goat cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup or so of chopped red onion, or chopped scallions
2 T sherry or other light vinegar
2 T walnut or other nut oil, can use a good olive oil if that?s what?s on hand
½ t sugar
3-4 T toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts
Cut off and discard stem bases. Cut each stalk into 2-inch pieces. Pile on a serving dish; intersperse with cheese. Sprinkle with onion to taste.
In small nonaluminum pan combine vinegar, oil, and sugar; bring to a boil, stirring. Pour over salad and toss lightly. Sprinkle with nuts and serve at once.

Dandelion Salad with Warm Pecan Vinaigrette
adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook by Reichl et al
2 bunches dandelion greens, tough stems discarded
3 T extra virgin olive oil
4 stalks green garlic or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
1.5 T balsamic vinegar
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
Cut top 5 inches from greens and transfer to a large heatproof serving bowl. Cut remaining greens into 3/4 inch slices and add to bowl.
Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over moderate heat. Add garlic and nuts and cook, stirring, until garlic is golden. Stir in vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour hot vinaigrette over greens and toss to combine.

Pyi-Gyi Nga Kazun Ywet (Squid and Dandelions) from The Burmese Kitchen by Copeland Marks and Aung Thein
1 teaspoon Dried red hot chili flakes
1 Tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon Soy sauce
1 teaspoon Brown sugar
2 teaspoon Corn OR peanut oil
1 Clove garlic, chopped fine
1 lb Fresh squids, dressed, cut -into 1/2-inch round slices
1/4 lb Dandelion greens, green -leaves only, halved
1. Mix the chili flakes, lemon juice, soy sauce, and sugar together. Let stand for 15 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet and over moderate heat fry the garlic for 1 minute. Add the squid slices and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the chili/lemon mixture and continue to fry.
3. Add the dandelion greens and cook for 2 minutes more. Do not overcook since it toughens the squid. Serve warm with other dishes.

Warm Dandelion Greens Salad
3/4 pound dandelion leaves
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
4 ounces smoked bacon
1 slice French or Italian bread, cubed
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 hard boiled egg, crumbled
1. Wash the greens and tear into small pieces. Put into a warmed salad bowl with the oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss lightly.
2. Fry bacon until half cooked. Add bread cubes and fry until cubes are golden and the bacon is completely cooked. Tip contents of the pan (fat and all if you want to be completely French about it) onto the greens. Toss quickly.
3. Put the vinegar into the pan and heat rapidly. When it is bubbling fiercely, pour onto the greens and toss. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of the crumbled egg on top. Serves two.

Dandelion Green Fettuccine
No pasta machine needed! adpated from: The Cook's Garden catalog - Spring/Summer 1989
2 cups Dandelion greens
2 Eggs
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1.) Whirl dandelion greens and eggs in a blender until smooth. 2.) Transfer to a bowl, add salt and start adding flour while beating with a spoon. Keep adding until dough is stiff. 3.) Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth (approximately 5 minutes). 4.) Roll out with rolling pin to 1/8"-1/4" thickness or thinner. 5.) Allow to stand and dry 1 hour, then cut into strips. 6.) Drop into boiling water and cook 1-2 minutes.

Dandelion Recipe (recipe can be halved)
1-1/2 tbs. olive oil
7-1/2 cups (packed) of young dandelion greens
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
3/4 cup sesame seeds
2-1/2 tsp. Bragg??s liquid amino?s or tamari soy sauce
1. Toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2- 3 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Immediately remove from pan and set aside.
2. Gently sauté the dandelion leaves and garlic in the olive oil 15 minutes, stirring often. 3. Stir in the Bragg?s liquid aminos and sesame seeds and serve hot. Serves 6