Dandelion Salad with Parsnip �Bacon� and 4 Reasons to Eat Dandelion Greens

(Alternate Title:�What to do with all the dandelions that you�ve been weeding!)

Before this year I had never really accepted dandelions as an edible plant. �Okay, so I knew that they were edible but I hadn�t bothered trying them. �I believe that the main inspiration in finally trying them this year came from Chef Jeff Crump�s cookbook Earth to Table, which reads at times more like a manifesto than a cookbook, and that�s what I love about it! �Here�s one quote:

�This is not about sacrifice (something I confess I have little talent for), it�s about discovery.� And what you discover may well be right around the corner, or just outside your door.� �(Jeff Crump,�Earth to Table,�p.14)

Having �discovered� them just outside my door, and subsequently having tried them I�m hooked! � Here are four reasons why you should try some dandelion greens!

Dandelion Greens

Dandelions and their greens are:

  1. Free (although I have seen them at markets).
  2. Growing abundantly everywhere!
  3. Not only edible, they are quite delicious!
  4. Very high in nutrients!

Well, that�s enough for me.� But what to do with them?� Either mix them into your salads with other greens, make a dandelion pesto pizza, or an alternate version of spanakopita, or make an all-dandelion green salad, like the one that follows!

Dandelion Salad with Parsnip �Bacon�

One thing I should point out is that dandelion greens are bitter, sort of like�arugula� but with less spiciness. � To balance the bitterness you need something sweet and a fat. �The parsnip �bacon� (original recipe) and the candied pecans provided that for me! �I think cranberries or another fruit would have been quite good on this salad too!

Salad Ingredients:

  • Large bowl full of dandelion greens (preferably from plants that aren�t yet flowering)
  • 1 parsnip, peeled
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • � cup pecans/walnuts/heartnuts (candied if you like)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice or wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. mustard (spicy or plain)
  • 1 Tbs. Maple Syrup
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 300.� To make the parsnip �bacon� use a peeler to cut long thin slices of parsnip. �Oil a baking sheet and place the slices of parsnip on it.� Brush the top of the parsnip with a small amount of oil and spring salt on top.� Place parchment paper or a silicon mat over the parsnip, and then place a second baking sheet on top (if you have lots of parsnips you may need to two a double layer which is what I did).� Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the �bacon� is beginning to brown.

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Make the salad dressing and drizzle half of it on the greens and toss them together.� Top the greens with the parsnip and the nuts.

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(To candy the nuts put them in a pan with a teaspoon of oil, a tablespoon of maple syrup, and a dash of salt.� Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently to coat the nuts.� Remove from heat when the syrup has mostly evaporated or caramelized, and allow to cool.) �Top with the thinly sliced green onion, drizzle the rest of the dressing on top and enjoy!

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Update: Another use for Dandelion Greens

Linking up at Tempt My Tummy

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