Dandelion Greens with Goat Cheese & Roasted Garlic Dressing


Dandelion greens are one of season’s earliest foodstuffs and one of the  finest of spring tonics. Indeed, they are the most nutritious leafy vegetable.  With a slightly bitter note, they are elegant in a salad and delicious additions to a stir-fry or salad.

Dandelions support digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation, and treat viruses, jaundice, edema, gout, eczema and acne. This sunflower relative boasts potent medicinal properties with laxative and diuretic properties (its French name, pissenlit, “wet the bed”, aptly names its effectiveness).

Pick up some greens this weekend at your local Farmer’s Market.  I love them this way as it warms them up slightly and the cheese and garlic are a wonderful balance to the bitterness of the dandelion.  For vegans, skip the cheese or sub it with a creamy nut based cheese.  You can also sub walnuts for pine nuts if you’re looking for a less expensive option.

Dandelion Greens with Goat Cheese & Roasted Garlic Dressing

The Greens

6 cups bite-size pieces dandelion greens , tough stems removed
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place dandelion greens in a large salad bowl.
2. Heat Roasted Garlic Dressing (instructions below) in a small saucepan over medium heat until warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Add shallot and simmer until the shallot is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the warm dressing over the greens and toss until they are wilted and coated. Add pine nuts and goat cheese and toss again, slightly melting the cheese with the warm greens. Season with pepper.

The Dressing

1 large head or 2 small heads garlic
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic or red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Rub off the excess papery skin from garlic without separating the cloves. Slice the tips
off the head (or heads), exposing the ends of the cloves. Place the garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and wrap into a package. Put in a baking dish and bake until the garlic is very soft, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Unwrap and let cool slightly.
3. Squeeze the garlic pulp into a blender or food processor (discard the skins). Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper and blend or process until smooth.



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