creamed dandelion greens [with sauteed scallops]
A friend of mine is teaching me a thing or two about foraging. I adore learning and am on a mission to keep scooping food, farm and frolicking knowledge into my hungry brain. Right now I am pushing a few topics including: the basics of Thai cuisine, urban farming (just read: Novella Carpenter's Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer; now reading: Your Farm in the City), and foraging and cooking urban weeds. The latter has me experimenting with recognizing weeds that can be foraged, as well as becoming familiar with their taste profiles and possibilities.
Dandelions are in season. Actually they stay in season much longer than a lot of foraged edibles. The greens are best young, but once the dandelion flowers---you can harvest the buds, flowers and roots for consumption. Dandelion greens store well in the fridge for a number of days. Clean greens in a few washes of water, then store them in a plastic bag with a wet paper towel. Though some people love dandelion greens in a salad, I find them quite bitter and prefer them cooked. So far my favorite take on dandelion greens is to cream them---the cream softens the bitterness of the greens but still honors their flavor.
For the scallops---which are a great compliment to creamed dandelion greens---I simply brushed olive oil into pan over medium high and browned each side (until they 'release' from the pan). Place on top of creamed dandelion greens for an impressive, very heart-healthy meal.
creamed dandelion greens with leeks and seared scallops
10 oz dandelion greens 1 T olive oil (for the greens) PLUS 1 T bacon grease and 1 T olive oil (for the leeks) 1 medium leek, cleaned cut in half the long way and sliced into 1/4 inch half moons 3-4 cloves garlic 1/4 cup vermouth kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper 1/4 cup Parmesan 6-8 large sea scallops
Clean and wash dandelion greens, removing stems. Over medium heat in a skillet, add 1 T olive oil and sauté dandelion greens (until just wilted). Do in batches if you need to. Once cooked, roughly chop greens. In another skillet add bacon grease and olive oil over medium low and add leeks, salt and white pepper. Sauté for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes. Add vermouth and let cook until there is only a scant Tablespoon left. Add cream, some more salt and white pepper and let simmer until thickens (4-5 minutes). Add Parmesan and dandelion greens and let heat through---about 1 more minute. Then off heat, plate and serve.