Along with the early spring, we’re getting lots of greens popping up ahead of schedule. I’m posting a simple recipe for dandelion greens today because I know a lot of people who are aware the greens are edible, but unsure how to use them or when to pick them, or simply never get around to doing it.
Considering how abundant and invasive they are this time of year, and that they’re free, dandelion greens are a great wild edible to have on your what’s-for-dinner radar. And what better way to start a sunny Sunday than picking some out of the yard and enjoying a relaxed brunch?
Dandelion greens are delicious. Their flavor is vaguely like a cross between arugula and spinach with a hint of bitterness (they get much more bitter once the flowers come up). You can use them in salads, sauté them, use them anywhere you would a thin-leafed green.
It’s a great time of year to pick dandelion greens, while they’re still young with small leaves. Pick them when they’ve just come up as rosettes, no flower stalk has formed, and the leaves are thin and delicate. Pick them from places where soil contamination is less likely or where they’re not being sprayed with pesticides.
My favorite use for them is in a simple scramble. I add onions I’ve chopped finely and allowed to absorb cream, and I sprinkle goat cheese on top. In late spring/early summer, fresh peas would also be a great addition.
Dandelion green, onion and goat cheese scramble.
Proportions per person
- 2-3 large handfuls of young dandelion greens, still in rosettes with no flower, finely chopped
- 1/8 onion or 1-2 spring onions
- 2 eggs
- 5 Tablespoons cream
- a few dabs of goat cheese
1. Pick dandelion greens. Clean carefully in cold salt water, picking out any grass or non-dandelion bits. Drain and dry well.
2. Chop onion finely and cook in butter on low heat until clear. Add a pinch of salt
3. Add 2 tablespoons of the cream to the onion and let the onion absorb the cream, stirring occasionally. The onions will get plump and delicious.
4. Add dandelion greens finely chopped and stir until wilted. Add another dab of butter.
5. Beat together the eggs and remaining cream, and pour into pan. On low heat, scrape the eggs inward from the sides of the pan until eggs are just barely cooked.
6. Move eggs to plate and crumble fresh goat cheese on top. Grate on some black pepper and serve.