Last Spring (can’t believe its been close to a year since I documented this recipe) I came across some stunning looking dandelions at my local supermarket and with my luv for ‘greens’ and my desire to experiment with ‘different’ ingredients, a bunch made it’s way home with me. Yes, if you’re familiar with dandelions you’ll know that for the most part it’s considered a weed you hate seeing on your lawn or garden. But I recall my first Spring in Canada and seeing people harvest them at the side of a country road so I knew they could be eaten.
1 large bunch of Dandelions
4 cloves garlic (sliced thin or crushed)
2 bird’s eye pepper (any pepper you like will work)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
6 grape tomatoes (any tomato will work)
1/2 lemon (juice)
1/4 cup coconut milk
Important! If doing this recipe gluten free, vegan or vegetarian, be sure to go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet your specific dietary needs.
Place the dandelions in a deep bowl or sink and cover with cool water. Shake and remove from the water. You may need to repeat this (with clean water). This will help to remove the sand/dirt which may be on the leaves. Then trim off the tough (only) stems (discard) and in a bundle, cut into 1 inch pieces.
Heat the coconut oil (use olive oil if that’s all you have) on a low heat then add the sliced garlic. Cook for 1 minute of very low, then add the two birds eye pepper (optional). You may use any spicy pepper you like or even something like dried pepper flakes will be ideal. Cook for another minute or so.
It’s now time to add the washed, trimmed and chopped dandelions to the pot.. turn up the heat to medium high first. Stir well. Then add the black pepper along with the salt and cook for a few seconds, then add the coconut milk and bring to a boil.
After it comes to a boil, place a lid on the pot/pan, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for about 7 minutes. You can personalize this a couple ways. 1. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. 2. I like my dandelions with a slight texture, so all I did at this point was to turn up the heat and cook off the liquid at the bottom of the pot (4-5 minutes). At this point I also added the chopped grape tomatoes (lid off). However you can keep the lid on and cook until you get the desired results you like with your greens.
You’ll notice that I didn’t break the peppers (in the image) so I didn’t get the raw heat, you can break them if you want the fire.. or remove them at this point (before serving). At the very end (just before turning off the stove) I like going in with the lemon juice to brighten up the dish and to help avoid the itch I tend to get when eating ‘greens’.
I know it’s the middle of winter, but only yesterday when I was at the grocery store I saw really good quality dandelions being sold (next to the spinach and rapini). Plus, with spring around the corner you may want to hang on to this recipe and give it a test-drive when you get your hands on some freshly picked dandelions. Maybe I’ll do a video showing how to harvest wild dandelions in early spring.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2