Sweet pecans and raisins complement the delectable bitterness of long Italian dandelion greens, a type of chicory. Farmer Screech of Screech Owl Greenhouses told me last week that this variety is popular in Europe. (I suspect it is Catalogna Special, but I'll ask next time I see him.) Try this recipe to tame dinosaur kale or other hardy greens you find in your CSA box: curly kale, collards, Swiss chard, or mustard greens.
Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 20 minutes. Yield: 4 servings.
- 1/4 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 bunch long-leafed dandelion greens (about 6 ounces or 170 grams)
- 1/3 cup pecans (35 grams)
- 1/3 cup raisins (53 grams)
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- salt to taste
- hot sauce to pass (optional)
- Put olive oil in a large skillet and spread evenly, then heat on medium low. Chop onion and cook in the skillet, stirring as needed to prevent burning.
- Rinse dandelion leaves thoroughly. Cut off bottom 1/4-inch of stems, then chop leaves crossways into 1/2-inch slices. Stir parts that are more stem than leaf to onions.
- Chop pecans into pieces about the size of a split pea, then stir into onion mixture. In a few minutes when onions and stems are tender, stir in remaining leaves, broth, and vinegar. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until greens are tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and add salt if desired.
- Serve hot with with hot sauce or more vinegar if desired. Keeps refrigerated for about five days.
- Dandelion greens vary greatly in their level of bitterness, depending on the weather, soil conditions, and other factors. If your batch turned out to be very bitter, add more vinegar or raisins. Still too bitter? Stir in a few teaspoons of tahini or peanut butter.
- Remember that bitter doesn't mean bad! It can be a sign of a high level of nutrients. Ms. Wise of Wise Farms tells me that many people, especially her Asian customers, seek out her jump-up turnip greens. This second growth of turnip greens "jumps up" in the spring from turnips first harvested for their greens in the fall. They are too bitter for my current sensibility, but I thoroughly enjoyed the power of the Italian dandelion greens.