Gather dandelion in the spring when the leaves are young and tender and the bitter astringent quality is still present but not overpowering. Be sure to snip from areas that have not been exposed to chemical pesticides and car exhaust.
4 cups packed fresh, washed dandelion greens
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion (Vidalia or Bermuda), coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 each: green and red pepper, julienned
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2-lb cooked whole wheat or soba noodles
1) In a pot of boiling water, parboil dandelion for 2 to 3 minutes, until wilted and slightly tender. Set aside in a colander to drain. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water for the sauce.
2) In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Stir in onions, cook gently, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add remaining 2 Tbsp oil to the pan and stir in garlic, ginger and sliced peppers and cook for 10 minutes, until soft.
3) Meanwhile, coarsely chop drained dandelion leaves. Add dandelion, balsamic vinegar and 1/4-cup reserved cooking water to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently until sauce is thickened, then toss in cooked pasta. Heat through and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings
Teacher, writer, photographer, and author of 20 cookbooks, Pat Crocker is wild about food, herbs, and health. Some of her books include The Healing Herbs Cookbook, The Juicing Bible, Coconut 24/7, and Preserving. Early 2018 will see the release of two more healing books: The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking and Healing with Herbs, and Vegan Recipes from the Reducetarian Foundation. For more information on Pat Crocker’s books and activities, visit: www.patcrocker.com
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