Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Dandelion Greens

While you may be cursing all the dandelions springing up in your yard, know that there is more to this common weed than meets the eye.  The leaves of dandelions, called dandelion greens and sold in many grocery stores (from where you’ll probably want to purchase them, as it’s not recommended to eat the leaves of the weeds that grow in your yard), are a great alternative to other leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale.  Dandelion greens are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, and K and a good source of calcium and iron.  Although they can be bitter, blanching them or sautéing them alongside other strong flavors takes a lot of the edge off and makes for an interesting alternative to your run-of-the-mill greens.

Dandelion Greens with Double Garlic

Ingredients
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup thinly sliced garlic (5 or 6 cloves), plus
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or more to taste
½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound dandelion greens with stems, well-washed and roughly chopped
½ cup low-sodium vegetable stock
Lemon wedges for serving

 

Instructions

  1. Put the olive oil in a large, deep saucepan with a lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add the sliced garlic, pepper flakes, and black pepper and cook for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the greens and stock. Cover and cook until the greens are wilted and just tender but still a little firm, about 5 minutes.
  3. Uncover the pan and continue to cook, stirring, until the liquid has all but evaporated and the greens are quite tender, at least 5 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and add red or black pepper as needed; add the minced garlic, cook for 1 minute more, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with lemon wedges. 

Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman 

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