Thursday, May 14, 2009

What to do with those pesky Dandelion Greens

Howdy folks - sorry I am not getting to this until Thursday evening....

First off, Dandelion greens are bitter, much like endive, escarole, chicory and radiccio. They are full of vitamins and are a general tonic, they help to cleanse the liver and kidneys. Many people will eat them raw, chop them up and add to a salad. Others will cook them, wilting the greens. I have a friend who has made flatbread with wilted dandelion, olive oil, and a soft goat cheese. Another friend of mine uses dandelion in his juicing regimen.

Second, the reason why I am growing these bitter greens (a quick history): for the past few years, we have grown lots of the mild mustards, members of the Brassica Rapa family. These include: turnips, bok choy, napa cabbage, mustard greens, broccoli raab, and mizuna. Unfortunately, over the years, a buggy pest has emerged, the Yellow Margined Leaf Beetle . This guy has totally decimated crop after crop of these mild mustards here on Castlemaine, and on some of my neighboring farms. I'm not sure if its a result of warmer than normal winters and dry springs, or if theres a reason why they're more pesky now than in past years, but they're here. As a result, I can't rely so much on getting a beautiful crop of these veggies each spring. So as an alternative, we have started growing crops in the Chicory family. I see a bit of demand at market for these bitter greens, and hopefully you will like them, too!



  • 1 pound dandelion greens
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 whole small dried hot chile pepper, seeds removed, crushed
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese


Wash greens well in salted water. Cut leaves into 2-inch pieces. Cook greens uncovered in small amount of salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Sauté onion, garlic, and chile pepper in oil. Drain greens; add to onion garlic mixture. Taste dandelion greens and season with salt and pepper. Serve dandelion greens with grated Parmesan cheese.
Recipe for dandelion greens serves 4.

another recipe from Gourmet Magazine

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