Going out and making lunch from your lawn is a wonderful feeling. Turning weeds into food—it’s so resourceful, thrifty, adventurous. It makes you feel like a hunter-gatherer, in touch with ancestral ways of life.
Alas, I did not have that feeling today. I bought my dandelion greens, and I think my father would be appalled if I found enough dandelions in his lawn to make a full meal. Fortunately, dandelions have rewards beyond a feeling of self-reliance. If you cook them right, they’re gutsy and toothsome. A lot of people find them bitter, but serving them with bread or cheese (or both!) helps balance the bitterness.
This is the sort of lunch I love best, as witnessed by my euphoria over radish tartine: a simple vegetable, simply cooked, its flavours shining unobstructed.
Add in garlic, and I’m one happy camper. Roast it, and I’m in heaven.
Dandelion Greens with Roasted Garlic
- olive oil
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1 small bunch dandelion greens (about 1/2 lb)
- 1 T white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour a small pool of olive oil onto the paper. Plonk the garlic down in the middle of the pool, put it in the oven, and roast it for 45 minutes to an hour, until it’s lovely and soft. Let the garlic cool slightly before squeezing the roasted garlic out of all the cloves and mashing it with the blade of a knife.
Heat some olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the dandelion greens and cook, tossing, for about two minutes. Add the vinegar, salt, and roasted garlic, and continue to toss until the greens are fully wilted, but the stems are still have an al dente feel. Serve on good bread, topped with plenty of grated Parmesan.