Cooking Dandelion Greens
I was so excited when I saw dandelion greens in the local Market Basket this weekend! These are a terrific leafy green that you should be eating as they are rich in minerals, super high in vitamins, have potassium and manganese and lots of other good-for-you nutrients. Bonus? If you have a “clean yard” meaning you don’t use any chemicals, you probably have an abundance of these greens in your own back acre!
As we are renting a place for the next few months, I don’t have access to those “pesky dandelions” so I was happy to see they are available at my local supermarket. One thing to know about dandelion greens is that they are bitter. The younger greens tend to be less bitter but then you are gathering little greens all over your yard. Most often the ones you see picked are the larger greens that make it easier for you to cook and eat. I do know lots of folks that eat raw dandelion greens. The trick they tell me is that they chop them up into small pieces and mix them with sweeter greens for salads.
We, however, like them cooked and treat them like a bitter bunch of Swiss chard. Meaning, we eat the whole stem and green parts (some folks say the white of the stem is something to discard). The way to cook dandelion greens is to make sure you remove some of the bitterness first.
The first step in the cooking process is to bring a large pot of water with a teaspoon or two (we like the extra salt as we feel it helps remove more of the bitterness) of salt to boil. Lay the washed dandelion greens in the pot once it is boiling and then you will want to let those greens continue to boil for approximately 15 minutes.
The greens will be wilted but still bright in color. Once they are boiled, remove the greens and drain well or pat dry on towels. At this stage you can either keep them whole or chop for easier cooking and eating. We like to keep them whole. My husband spears an end and twirls it up like spaghetti!
To cook them further in an easy way, we stir fry them. To do that, in a pan, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add the greens and cook for 10-15 minutes.
We like to add other veggies for a side dish or add even more veggies and some sliced cooked chicken breast for a fantastic stir-fry meal.