Friday, June 28, 2013

Smoky-Sweet Braised Dandelion Greens

Braised Dandelion Greens

As a kid, I loved dandelions because when they went to seed you could blow on them and make a wish. And my mother (and I imagine most other adult gardeners), basically considered them a weed. Which they were, albeit a pretty one.

And edible too. Although I wouldn't necessarily suggest eating the dandelion greens from your garden, so long as you haven't sprayed them with anything toxic, you probably could. They have a great flavor - sharp and bitter. They take well to braising, since the liquid mellows them out and allows you to build in some other flavors. In this dish, I went with a combination of slightly sweet (agave), sour (lemon zest), spicy (red pepper flakes) and smoky.

Smoky-Sweet Braised Dandelion Greens

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small (or 1/2 large) sweet onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Seasoned salt (or salt), to taste
1 punch (about 1 lb.) dandelion greens, tough ends removed
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 to 2 tsp. agave nectar
1 tsp. liquid smoke flavor

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, reduce the heat a bit and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and seasoned salt and cook another 5 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the onions are quite soft and lightly browned (heading toward caramelized but not quite there). Increase heat to medium-high, add dandelion greens and chicken broth, cover and cook for about 2 minutes.

Remove lid and reduce heat to medium. Add lemon zest, agave nectar and liquid smoke, and continue cooking another 5 minutes or more until the greens are tender. Remove the greens from the pan. Increase heat to medium-high and continue cooking onions and liquid until the liquid has reduced by about half. In shallow bowls, plate the reduced liquid first then the greens on top.

Note: when I made this, I served it mixed with some leftover mushroom-orzo risotto on a broiled salmon fillet on top.

1 comment:

  1. This was good. You served me a weed for dinner and I was none the wiser.