|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14g||19%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||6%|
|Total Carbohydrate 14g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 4g||16%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 41mg||207%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Commonly thought of as an herb, dandelion greens are actually a weed and a delicious one, too. Easily spotted during the spring in backyards, on sidewalks, and along train tracks, dandelion flowers, green leaves, and roots are entirely edible. Used for centuries in cuisines around the world, they are famous in traditional medicine for their ability to alleviate digestive and renal ailments.
Many abstain from eating these flavorful greens because they are known for being too bitter. While they do have a bitter aspect, dandelion greens carry a great earthy punch and that bitter profile that makes them a desirable side dish for heavy, fatty foods like steak or brisket. Their wonderful flavor is great in raw salads—much like arugula or radicchio—and they provide a lot of herby flavor when mixed with spices in pesto. Flavored with garlic, as in our recipe, these green leaves are simply delicious. Harvest them from your backyard only if you are sure that no herbicides, pesticides, or dogs have been around the plants. Or buy them by the pound at upscale groceries, Asian markets, or farmers' markets. If dandelions grow in public areas, ask the local authorities first before foraging them, as parks and trails are also sprayed during the hot months of the year.
Dandelion greens have plenty of nutrition and a healthy amount of protein, too. A 100-gram serving has 45 calories, 2.7 grams of protein, and a good amount of vitamins E, A, and C. But what makes them most desirable is the amount of potassium they have, with 397 mg in that 100-gram serving, or almost 10 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults.
Gather the ingredients.
Discard the dandelion greens' roots. Rinse the leaves well under running water.
Fill a bowl with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Submerge the leaves in the salted water for 10 minutes. Rinse well.
Cut leaves into 2-inch pieces.
Bring a small amount to a boil in a saucepan, around 1 1/2 cups, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook the greens uncovered for about 10 minutes.
While the greens cook, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, onions, and chile pepper until the onion is translucent.
Drain greens thoroughly and add them into the onion-garlic mixture.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Plate the greens and add shaved or grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Other Recipes With Dandelions
If you got your hands on a good amount of dandelions, there are plenty of ways in which you can cook and serve these delicious greens:
- Add them to spinach or kale soups to brighten up the green flavors.
- Braise them in beef or chicken broth alongside leeks for a pungent side dish.
- Sautee them in olive oil and garlic and use them as the base for an omelet.
- Sautee and blend with pine nuts, garlic, salt, and parmesan to make a pesto to serve with pasta, or as the spread for sandwiches and wraps.
- Cook the greens in olive oil alongside tomatoes, onions, and garlic and mix them with cooked grains like brown rice, quinoa, farro, fonio, or barley to make a salad. Dress with a citrus vinaigrette.
- Serve the sauteed greens with hanger steak, pork belly, or fatty fish.
- Make a hash with potatoes and onions and top with sauteed dandelions. Top with cheddar cheese and broil for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Dandelion Greens, Raw. FoodData Central. United States Department of Agriculture.