Sautéed Dandelion Greens
Sautéed Dandelion Greens
When I was a little girl, I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books over and over again. When I pulled them out to give to Kaylee, I noticed that most of the covers were taped together because I’d worn them out so much. One thing I remember very clearly was at the end of The Long Winter. Ma Ingalls said to Pa Ingalls that she was watching some of the weeds out back, but that they weren’t ready to eat yet.
As a child, I never understood what she meant. And, until I moved to Kentucky, I never practically knew it.
I live in dandelion central. As soon as the weather turned warm, every yard in my neighborhood was so covered in dandelions that at a glance up or down the street, yellow was the first color that caught your eye. It was beautiful. In my own yard and in the flower garden I haven’t been able to work in yet, dandelions are growing at an amazing rate. So, I decided to try out this eating weeds thing.
These are SO good for you. I had no idea until I ran the nutritional analysis. Look at the bottom of the post here and see all of the amazing nutrition that you can find in a handful of weeds you can pick out of your own yard.
1 pound dandelion greens
2 garlic cloves
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 TBS olive oil
sharp knife & cutting board
Pick your large dandelion leaves — the ones that had fully matured and flowers already tuned to white balls were the best leaves.
(NOTE: I had about 4 cups, easy, of raw leaves. When they were blanched, I probably had half a cup of greens. I would pick three or four times as much as I picked to feed more than two people. So, ignore my pictures and imagine them to be 4x as much.)
Wash them really well and cut the tough ends off of the ends.
Put the washed leaves in a pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes.
Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
While they are cooling off and draining, heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.
Using a garlic press, press 2 cloves of garlic into the oil (or finely mince 2 cloves of garlic). Add red pepper flakes.
Dry the blanched greens with paper towels.
Put them in the skillet with the oil and the garlic, tossing them constantly until they are heated through.
Low in sugar
High in calcium
High in dietary fiber
High in iron
High in manganese
High in potassium
High in riboflavin
High in thiamin
Very high in vitamin A
High in vitamin B6
Very high in vitamin C
I would love to hear any feedback about this recipe. Did you make it? Did you enjoy it? Did you make any adjustments to it?
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So how were they, flavor-wise?
I picked my first garden vegetables yesterday – radishes – and for the first time I chopped up the radish greens and tossed them into the salad with the sliced radishes and spinach. It was delicious. No more tossing radish greens for me.
They were good – no strong flavor, which meant that the garlic and pepper really stood out. I’d like to cook them in butter next, see how they taste.
Beet greens are really good, too. I tossed some with spaghetti noodles one time — made the noodles pink!
Not too many dandelions have come out yet here in northeast PA. But when they do, I’d like to try this! An older Mennonite friend of mine was telling me about dandelion wine her mother used to make. You just never know what you can make out of “weeds!”
On another note, could you email me your budget spreadsheet? I was reading that post this morning and I’d really like to create a household budget for our little family. Thanks!