Thursday, May 8, 2008

How to Harvest and Use Wild Dandelion Greens

DandelionsThe dandelions are coming! The dandelions are coming!

Actually, the first dandelions of the season have arrived. They’re still few and far between, but I was able to find enough to make a salad.

In honor of the occasion, I bought a piece of the best beef tenderloin I could find and made
Carpaccio. I cut the tenderloin into thin slices, pounded it even thinner, seasoned it, drizzled it with white truffle oil, and topped it with fresh dandelion salad dressed with lemon and olive oil. Thin slices of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese crowned the salad.

It was glorious.





                  Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska has moved as of March 2011. 
                  To read this post please go to


http://www.laurieconstantino.com/how-to-harvest-and-use-dandelion-greens/


                  Please click on over and visit my new site. Thank you!



Carpaccio with Dandelion Salad and White Truffle OilCarpaccio with Dandelion Greens Salad and Truffle Oil (Καρπάτσιο με Ραδίκια και Λάδι Τρούφας)Serves 2
........


 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by me - I'm looking forward to receiving a zillion entries by Sunday afternoon (May 11).

24 comments:

bee said...

we have lots of dandies, but the leaves are very thin and the center flesh is thick. we want to use them up before fertilising our yard. your tips are great.

Mansi Desai said...

oh, that looks pretty! I loved the writeup Laurie, my entry is on the way:) thanks for the great tips!

Peter G said...

What a wonderful write up on all the different wild plants out there Laurie. My childhood memories consist of a carload of Greek mothers all going to the outer bush areas and looking for wild "horta"! The bounties they would return with! I absolutely love carpaccio and it looks great with the dandelions. (I'l make sure I get my entry in..I haven't participated before)

gay said...

We have dandelions here but didn't realize we could eat them... hhmmm...

gay

Kalyn said...

The salad looks just glorious. I love the tip about blanching the wild greens and freezing them. I never thought of doing that.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

That looks like a gorgeous plate Laurie! YUM! Also a very informative write up! Oh how I wish I knew areas around here to harvest wild plants...maybe someday.

manju said...

That salad is absolutely gorgeous! Looking forward to more tips and recipes for Horta as it finally gets warmer in your neck of the woods (literally).

Peter M said...

Wow...what's better...the wild greens or the carpaccio?

If you have any links we could read about recognizing good from bad greens, much appreciated.

Anna said...

this looks absolutely fantastic. i love carpaccio and the bitterness of wild greens would go so well in this dish.
such a great idea! very impressive.

katiez said...

That does, indeed, look glorious!
I have enough dandelions in my garden to keep me busy for a long, long time... and nettles, but I haven't been able to convince me to actually eat a nettle!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

hi laurie, i've entered for your weekend herb blogging; i hope i've followed the rules correctly!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

i agree about chickweed - it's not much of a plant, but i do actually add it to my horto-kalitsounia just for more bulk.
i will soon be picking and cooking nettles for the first time in my life - hope it's worth it.

Laurie Constantino said...

Bee, thin leaves and thick center flesh is fine for dandelions - just make sure to remove any flower buds.

Mansi, thank you! I love your entry - everything about it was new to me.

Peter G, you gave me a good chuckle - one of my first memories of Greece was driving down the road and wondering why there were so many women bent over in the fields. Of course, they were gathering horta!

Gay, I can't wait until you use your dandelions - I know you'll come up with a wonderful way to prepare them.

Glad you like it Kalyn. When I freeze them in zip locks I take care to flatten the bags so I can stack them like cordwood in the freezer. There's nothing worse that being hit by a flying ball of frozen greens when you open the freezer door.

Jenn, there's lots of wild edibles in your area. For central Florida, here's a link to get you started: http://www.nbbd.com/godo/ef/edibles/index.html

Manju, the sun is shining and it's gorgeous today! We're up to 17 hours of daylight and climbing.

Peter, for me, the wild greens are better - especially when they're the sweet little ones at the beginning of the season. On recognizing good from bad greens, it's a matter of studying field guides for your region. For Ontario, here's a link to get you started: http://wildwoodsurvival.com/survival/food/edibleplants/index.html

Anna, you've hit the nail on the head of why the two taste so good together.

Katie, nettles are one of my very favorite wild green because they grow in large patches, so are easy to harvest, easy to clean, and have a very mild flavor. Just be sure to wear gloves when you are handling them raw. Once nettles are cooked, they are no longer capable of stinging you.

Maria, the thing about chickweed for me is I hate cleaning them. Now, if someone would hand me a nice pile of already cleaned chickweed, I'd be quite happy. And like I told Katie above, nettles are way worth it.

Cakelaw said...

I would love to be able to gather wild herbs to cook with! And the very word "dandelion" has a magical quality that I associate with spring. Lovely looking carpaccio.

Anna Haight said...

Personally, I've only gathered wild mushrooms here in the SF Bay area (black chanterelles, candy canes, morels, etc), but I'm sure there are other deliciously wild things here to gather too. Sent my entry in earlier this week.

Great Big Veg Challenge said...

I love this salad you have created - I introduced my son to dandelions last year for the first time in a bacon, croutons - basically a tepid salad. It was a success...

Susan said...

Plucking wild greens in urban areas is a bit dicey, but they are becoming more popular in farmers markets and the like of Whole Foods.

Zingy recipe, Laurie.

(I'm in for WHB this week, just squeaking under deadline.)

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

A deliciously summery, seasonal meal. Wonderful.

bleeding espresso said...

Great info. Here in southern Italy we do a lot of wild chicory and wild finocchio and another green I don't know the name of in English. Not a lot of dandelions; I'll have to ask my MIL why not....

Laurie Constantino said...

Cakelaw, sounds like you'd better buy a local guidebook to edible plants and bone up before next spring!

Anna, loved your entry. And since you are a finder, foraging for wild foods sounds like just the thing.

Great Big Veg - mmm, dandelion and bacon salad with croutons is SO good - a perfect spring meal.

Susan, in general I agree with you about urban foraging - although Steve Brill has made a career out of foraging in Central Park.

Forkful, thanks!

Bleeding Espresso, I'd be interested in what you're MIL says about dandelions in Italy...

myfrenchkitchen said...

This looks glorious! I think summer is going to be too short to fit in all that I see and want to try. Great combination- dandelion, truffle and carpaccio!
ronell

Laurie Constantino said...

Ronell, that's always the problem - too many recipes and not enough time!

FYI, bleeding espresso and others - I've investigated dandelions in Italian cuisine and they are definitely used - they are called tarassaco in Italian.

Sam Sotiropoulos said...

Laurie, I am trying to catch up on my blog reading as I've been busy of late... but dandelion greens have to be among my favourite field greens. This carpaccio salad recipe sounds awesome! BTW, I should mention that my wife really enjoyed Zafiris' Zucchini and eggs... I have made it several times since your posting. :-)

We Are Never Full said...

WOWZERS... i can't believe how I'm salivating at this picture. Just want to let you know I'm really enjoying poking around your blog. Very delicious things.