Dandelion Greens and Spicy Onions

Dandelions are one of the first greens to appear in the spring. Their bitterness and greens is a welcomed change after a winter of roots and meats! The dandelions used in these recipes are long, dark green leaves that are available in supermarkets. Chicory, escarole and nettles are a great substitute when you can’t find dandelion greens. 

Cooking the greens in water first is a crucial step, to take off the bitter edge. Onion, leeks and garlic with touch of crushed red pepper then make them super tasty. Try a squeeze of lemon just before serving.

This will make enough for a few days. Throw the cooked greens into the blender for a smoothie ingredient, or serve with a protein like eggs.

4 pounds dandelion greens (separate the stems from the leaves, as they cook differently)
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 leek, cut into small pieces
6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Cook greens in 3 batches in an 8-quart pot of well-salted boiling water. The leaves will take about 6 minutes, the stems about 8 minutes. Scoop out each batch of greens with a skimmer as they’re ready, put into a colander and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well, gently pressing out excess water, and transfer to a bowl.

Heat oil in a pot over medium heat and add the leeks, onions with garlic and salt (to taste). Cook until just ready —do not brown. Add the crushed red pepper.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the mixture from the pot and set aside in a bowl. In batches, cook the greens in the remaining oil mixture, stirring for about 3-4 minutes. Each time, start with a little bit of olive/onion mixture and cook 3-4 minutes. Transfer dandelion green mixture to a dish and drizzle with additional onion/oil mixture if needed before serving.

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