Spring is the time to pick dandelion greens. An Italian favorite, with it’s bitter bite…you know it has to be good for you!
Chicago is bursting with Spring.
Flowering Plum, Crabapple, Horse Chestnut, Lilac, Choke Cherry, and we even have the Maggie Daley Tulipa. Some blooms are already gone, preparing for the next stage, the fruit.
All but the Dandelions—they stay.
My Uncle Sal would leave early in the morning with a big brown bags, a sharp knife and head for the roadsides, never thinking about the pollution or car exhaust tainting the nutritious spring gems. He’d scout the parkways and prairies for the new Dandelion greens.
Each bright yellow flower his signal of the gold below. My Aunt Lil teased him about his Sicilian zeal. But everyone enjoyed his tasty greens, the garlic sautéing in olive oil sent the message to my grandma’s whole building.
The gossips would gossip… is he crazy? As a kid I wondered why would he eat the weeds everyone else would be digging out of their yards?
But I loved the spiky soft yellow flowers. No one minded if you picked your mom a dandelion bouquet everyday.
The magic lore surrounding them— ‘dandelions tell when you smell them if you love butter or not by leaving a yellow mustache under your nose.’
And later in summer when they dried… all the wishes I would scatter with a giant breath blowing it clean.
Dandelion Greens with Garlic and Lemon
1 large bunch dandelion greens, rinsed but not dried, roughly chopped,
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 large lemon
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat add garlic slices and stir until translucent but not browned, about 3 minutes. add dandelion greens with water clinging to them and cook, using tongs to turn greens, until thoroughly wilted but bright green, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, squeeze lemon over top, and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
With Eggs and Parmesean Cheese
4 eggs, separate whites from yolks, set aside
Imported Parmesean cheese, freshly grated
Salt and Pepper to taste
Poach the eggs in the same skillet on medium heat with the cooked greens, make small wells in the greens. Pour the yolks into the wells to poach. Cover. The steam from the greens poaches the yolks. Normally I do not use the yolks, too high in fat and calories, and the protein in eggs is in the whites. But, visually I couldn’t resist.
MayoClinic/Health/Get the facts straight about eggs and cholesterol/ in Links.
Whisk and pour the reserved egg whites around the edge of the skillet and add salt, pepper and cover.Top with grated Parmesean cheese.
It reminds me of the yellow flowers popping up on the prairie.