Spring is here. Yes obvious observation.
There are many indicators of the subtleness of a Bay Area spring.
The quality of the light, the duration of a day, the smell in the air, all point to a new season, a new beginning.
But one other indicator of spring, like really Spring, are all the dandelion greens popping up everywhere; in the park, in the yard, through cracks in the sidewalk…. and sold in bunches at farmer’s markets.
Dandelion greens aka Taraxacum are a large genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae.
Dandelions have been around for a long long time, like millions of years. Humans have consumed this plant as food and herb for much of recorded history. The plant was introduced to North America by European immigrants who learned about the properties of dandelion greens from the Arabs.
The name comes from the French “dente de lion” meaning lion’s tooth which refers to the serrated edges of the plant’s leaf.
Whenever I choose to cook dandelions I think of the bitter properties it offers which is so good for our liver amongst other things.
Bitter, good, and powerful—dandelions are a nice way to welcome spring.
Next time you see dandelions take a moment to honor this old weed.
1 bunch dandelion-cleaned and chopped
2 cloves of garlic-chopped roughly
(2 pinches of chili flakes)
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste
Heat pan to medium high, add olive oil.
Wait 20 seconds and add garlic, and swirl that around pan. (add chili flakes if using now)
Add dandelion greens and make sure all leaves get coated with olive oil.
Sprinkle salt to taste and sauté about 7 minutes.
Its done. And will be intensely bitter in a good way.