Monday, June 6, 2011

Dandelion - Bitter, and, Sweet!

Taraxacum officinale, Dandelion

Isn't it so true of some childhood memories remaining as vivid today as the day they occurred. For me it is of my Sicilian grandfather, quintessential forager, donning his ubiquitous hat, sleeveless white ribbed undershirt, khakis and leather work shoes with tomato basket and screwdriver in hand. The mission: scrumptious dandelion greens for a tasty salad to compliment his daily pasta. In his world, life was all about the food. And, I must say, after all these years I have to agree with him. Sweet! is how I describe the bitterness of this particular salad green as the memories of times gone by add to its taste.

Taraxacum officinale, commonly known as the lowly dandelion, was once considered an essential part of a healthy diet. The plant is in the daisy family Compositae, and is loaded with vitamins A and K, as well as omega 3 fatty acids. Tender leaves are best picked in early spring, and can be eaten raw in a salad, sauteed as a side dish, or dried and steeped as a tea. Choose plants growing in wild areas, as many manicured lawns are chemically treated. Oncologists are testing extract from the dandelion root with promising results as an alternative naturopathic treatment of leukemia.

Bitter Sweet Dandelion Green Salad
6 Cups, Dandelion greens
1, Avocado, thinly sliced
1 Cup, native Blueberries
1/4 Cup Golden Raisins
4 Oz., Pecorino Romano Cheese, shaved

Dressing: 3 Tbl., Olive Oil whisked with 1 Tbl. Red Wine Vinegar. Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper

The Old timers knew - here's to your health!

1 comment:

Matti at Far Out Flora said...

Taraxacum officinale...I remember it as bitter sweet when I was back in WI. Sweet, because they were always fun to play with...bitter, cuz I was that guy who would get down on hands and knees to pull it out. I love the idea of a salad with it. I know it has been in a salad mix before that I ate, and this recipe sounds scrummy. thanks for the share. Matti

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