Dandelion Salad Recipe
Here is a tasty little dandelion salad featuring shallots, anchovy and paremesan cheese along with this unusual green. This is a modified version of the original recipe by French author Mireille Guiliano, who has a fabulously fun website called French Women Don't Get
Fat. I could spend hours poking around Mireille's website - it is just chocked full of interesting information!
Cooking with Weeds
Being less obsessed with the perfect lawn, the French have little problem with a few dandelions, which they call pissenlit
. Whereas you may go running for the weed killer when you see one of these tenacious plants popping out of your glorious green, they are just as likely to eat it, as in this easy salad recipe. All parts of the dandelion are edible. Dandelion
root tea is drank as a coffee substitute, and the flowers are made into wine, which is purported by some to have strengthening qualities. In the Savoy region, the flowers are gathered in the spring time and used to make a sort of jelly called cramaillote
. Resembling honey, it is often served with foie gras, but is also diluted with water to make a sweet drink.
Similar to spinach, the greens, which are best when picked in the spring, are not only used to make salads, they are also cooked and added to diverse recipes. They have a bit of a bite, which is quite enjoyable once you give it a try. This dandelion salad is a great introduction to eating this plant, and it is so tasty, you may soon find yourself with a new perspective on what you once considered
Salade de pissenlit
Makes 4 servings
- 1 teaspoon shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 anchovy, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, freshly ground
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch of dandelion greens (about 10 ounces), rinsed and dried
- 1 ounce portion of Parmesan cheese
In a small bowl, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the shallot, mustard, vinegar, and anchovy. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to create a well blended dressing. Season to your taste with salt and pepper. In a salad bowl, toss the dandelion greens with the vinagrette. Top with grated Parmesan. For a lovely look, use a vegetable peeler to create shavings of Parmesan. Variations:
This salad is also frequently served with crispy bits of warm bacon and/or chopped boiled eggs. Also try substituting Roquefort cheese for the Parmesan, or adding toasted pine nuts or walnuts.