Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dandelion Greens

Dent de lion
"Lion's Tooth"
Rio Gozo Farmers are delighted the dandelions are back. It is the second year we've grown them and though they are time consuming to harvest, the pick is oddly satisfying. Dandelion greens are an old world plant brought to the North America by early European immigrants. Every part of the plant is edible. I've tried them all: the roots can be roasted as a coffee substitute, the stems and leaves are delicious in salads; tasting much like endive, and the flowers are fun and decorative fried as fritters. Dandelions can have a diuretic effect as implied by it's Italian name "piscialletto" (piss the bed).

Here are a couple easy recipes to play with:
Dandelion Pesto
2-4 crushed cloves of garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cups dandelion leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Squirt of lemon
Dash of salt

Put all of the ingredients in the blender. Blend well until it is a good consistency.

Dandelion Greens
1 bunch of dandelion greens
1 red onion
Pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
2 cloves of garlic
Squeeze of lemon
Goat cheese

Sauté the onion and salt in olive oil or butter until they are caramelized.
Add the garlic and sauté for a minute more. Add the dandelion greens and sauté until wilted.
Remove from heat, add a squeeze of lemon and the goat cheese, and serve.

Dandelion can be added to other cold salads. I had a delicious side of winter squash salad with goat cheese and dandelion greens at The Local Cafe in Ventura. It is a great place to get inspired how to prepare what's in season.

More recipes borrowed (with permission) from Mariquita Farm

Posted by Elizabeth

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There is plenty of gozo at Rio Gozo Farm. That is JOY in Spanish and joy is one of the most dependable products we have. Gozo is commonly found in gardens and farms. Once you get a little gozo up and going it is very tolerant of most pests, withstands dry periods, and grows with a modicum of fertilizer. After gozo becomes a staple of one's diet, it goes with about anything. Actually folks crave it so much it is a wonder everyone does not have a patch of it growing close at hand. Grab up some gozo and get with the flow.