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Recipe: Spicy Bitter Dandelion Greens

Recipe by Christine Wolheim Photograph by Alex Farnum

This recipe was included as part of a menu for our Lost Coast feature. 

Anyone who has gardened knows how insidious dandelion is. The best revenge is to eat big heaps of this very nutritious green. It grows wild throughout most of the US, and can be easily harvested. Many farmers’ markets now sell it as well, and if you buy the greens, you may wish to wash them before your trip so they will be ready to throw into the pan.

1/3 cup good olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon dried crushed chili flakes
1 large (or 2 small) bunches dandelion greens
Salt to taste

Have your greens ready, washed and roughly chopped. Over an even bed of coals, heat a large skillet and add the olive oil and the garlic cloves. When they have browned on all sides (take care not to burn), add the chili flakes all at once. Allow to toast and further scent the oil (do not allow to burn or the mixture will become bitter).

Immediately add the dandelion greens and sauté them, stirring frequently, for 8–10 minutes.

You may add a little water if needed. These greens are hearty and can be cooked down or eaten al dente, depending on their maturity and your personal taste.

They make a nice complement to the lamb chops and corn bread. Bitter is better!

Serves 4

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