Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dandelion Greens with Onion

Oh! Dandelion greens season! I look forward to it every year. Dandelion greens are one of Spring's loving ways of helping us cleanse and tonify our organs after Winter's heavier and heartier fare. They're bitter! And that is indicative of their medicinal quality. I have come to relish the bitterness because my body just craves these greens! She knows what she needs. And lately I have been buying them at the Farmers' Market every time I go, and cooking them as soon as I get home.
This is how I've been preparing them - with bacon grease and sauteed onion. Of course you can use another fat, but bacon grease really counters the bitterness nicely. Nutritionally, the fat helps make the green goodness available to your body; just as importantly, it tastes good!

2 tbsp bacon grease*
One onion - chopped
1 tsp seasalt, to taste
1 bunch dandelion greens, chopped no wider than my pinky

In a cast iron skillet, sauté the onion in the bacon grease until very soft. Chop the greens before soaking - cut the whole bunch off above the twist tie. Then start at the tips and chop down, making sure the pieces are very small. To clean, soak in a bowl of water. Then, pull them out of the soaking water by the handful directly into the skillet so that some water comes with the greens to help with cooking. Fold the greens in with the onions and cover at medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. Cook until the greens are soft, and serve piping hot. I've been enjoying them by the bowlful with a little bit of brown rice. Here's to Spring - Salud!

* about bacon grease ~ Only use nitrate- and nitrite-free bacon that has been humanely raised. It's worth the occasional splurge! Lately we have been loving Prather Ranch bacon. Makes my mouth water just to type it! Here's how to save the delicious grease: after frying the bacon while the skillet is still very hot, rubber band a clean kitchen cloth (like an already-stained kitchen towel or napkin) over the mouth of a clean jar. Then slowly and carefully pour the bacon grease through the napkin. This will strain out all the bits so that the grease can be used again. Refrigerate until you're ready to enjoy it in another meal. Yum!

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