Dandy Greens to Me
For the dressing: In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, vinegar, orange and lemon zest and juice and honey or sugar. . Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. (Since the mustard already has salt in it, adding salt in the last step will ensure you don't oversalt the dish. ) Pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.
Per serving: 114 calories, 2 gm protein, 12 gm carbohydrates, 8 gm fat, trace cholesterol, 1 gm saturated fat, 103 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber
Middle Eastern Dandelion Greens
4 to 6 servings
This side dish is modeled after one of my favorite Middle Eastern salads -- tabbouleh. Blanching the dandelion greens takes the edge off the leaves' bitterness, but using the entire amount of lemon juice will bring out the fullness of the leaves' bite.
The cooking water will turn a copper color due to the amount of beta carotene in the dandelion greens.
About 2 teaspoons salt
10 cups loosely packed whole dandelion leaves (about 21/2 bunches)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro (about 11/2 cups chopped)
1 bunch fresh mint (about 1/2 cup chopped)
1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the dandelions: Have ready a large bowl of ice water. In a large pot, bring about 16 cups of water and salt to a boil. Divide the dandelions in half. Drop the first batch of dandelions in the boiling water, stir and boil for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the blanched dandelions to the cold water. Repeat with the second batch. Drain the dandelions, squeezing to remove all of the water. Return the dandelions to the bowl, add enough water to cover and soak the dandelions again. Repeat the draining and squeezing at least twice, changing the water each time. This will reduce the bitterness. You should have about 3 cups.
While soaking the blanched dandelions, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and saute until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Coarsely chop the blanched dandelions. In a large bowl, combine the dandelions, parsley or cilantro and mint. Add the sauteed garlic, onion, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, salt and pepper and, using a fork, mix well, being sure to break up the clumps of dandelion greens. For a more assertive flavor, add the remaining lemon juice to taste.
Per serving: 99 calories, 3 gm protein, 13 gm carbohydrates, 5 gm fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 gm saturated fat, 267 mg sodium, 4 gm dietary fiber
Shi Li is a Washington writer.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company