At first glance, you may consider dandelions to be a “weed”. However, these greens are actually edible and just as healthy and delicious as any other leafy green. They’re high in iron, calcium, and plenty of vitamins — with even more iron and protein than spinach! They can be bitter however, so we recommend blanching before cooking.
You can prepare dandelion greens as you would spinach — but even better, if you blanch first in heavily salted water to remove bitterness. We love sautéing them up with olive oil and plenty of garlic.
These sautéed greens are especially delicious when you add eggs, feta, and leeks, as seen in A Beautiful Plate.
If you’re not ready to dive into plain greens, you can try adding to pasta dishes, like this recipe from Fine Cooking.
Pasta with Dandelion Greens, Garlic, and Pine Nuts
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 12 oz. dandelion greens, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths (about 6 cups)
- 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 12 oz. gemelli or penne
- 2 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or vegan alternative)
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, cook the oil and garlic in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until the garlic is golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the garlic to paper towels to drain.
- Add the pine nuts to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to the paper towels with the garlic.
- Add the greens to the skillet and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat.
- Boil the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss with the greens. Add the garlic, pine nuts, and half of the cheese, and toss to combine, adding some of the pasta cooking water to moisten, if necessary. Serve garnished with some of the remaining cheese, and pass the rest at the table.
Dandelion greens have recently been featured in our Conscious Kitchen X Tomatero Farm Boxes. Check out how to purchase one of our buy one-give one farm boxes here!