Dandelion greens have been used both for food and medicine since ancient times. You may recognize the jagged leaf edges from hard-fought battles with your lawn. But it’s the culinary variety, with its longer, flatter leaves that’s used in this dandelion greens salad recipe. This type is less fibrous and bitter than its herbicide-resistant cousin.
However, even the culinary dandelion greens remain somewhat bitter, and enjoying them raw can be an acquired taste. As a result, many temper their strong flavor by combining them in salads with less pungent greens. The tough leaves also mellow when braised with beans or tossed with hot pasta.
The other way to prepare dandelion greens, which you’ll find in this recipe, is to serve them with a warm dressing that seasons and mellows the salad just before serving. A warm dandelion greens salad balances the bitterness of the greens with the sweet and acidic flavors of vinegar and citrus. The greens acquire a rounder taste, while offering a nice contrast to the walnuts and fruit.
If you don’t have raspberry vinegar on hand, another sweet, fruity vinegar such as balsamic would be nice as well.
- ¼ c olive oil
- 1 t garlic, minced
- ¼ t marjoram
- 1 c walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 T raspberry vinegar
- ¼ t salt
- 1 bunch dandelion greens, rinsed, stems trimmed
- 1 bosc pear, sliced
- ¾ c fresh raspberries
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil. Add garlic and marjoram and cook about 30 seconds. Stir in walnuts and continue to cook, stirring occasionally about 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, toss vinegar mixture with dandelion greens. Gently fold in pear slices and raspberries and drizzle lemon juice. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.