Recipe: Dandelion Greens

dandelion-greens-plated-thumbItalians love their bitter greens!

Bitter greens are used quite extensively on the Italian table: sauteed with garlic and oil, used in salads, cooked in soups, placed on top of crostini, combined with pasta and risotto – just to name a few 😉

The complex flavors of bitter greens are really enhanced when contrasted against the flavors of other foods and Dandelion greens are one of the season’s best – if you’ve not given them a try I encourage you to get out to your garden, local farmers market or grocer.

Preparation is crazy simple:

dadelion-greens-cooking-thumbWash the greens thoroughly.  Heat some olive oil in a pan on medium low.  Brown a few pieces of garlic but don’t burn them.  Put in the greens all at once as if to “smother” the oil in the pan – keeps spattering minimized. Once the greens are cooked tender to your liking, remove them.  Cut them into smaller pieces with 2 or 3 passes of the knife or mezzaluna if you wish, takes 2 seconds.  Salt as you wish (salt will help balance the bitter component.)

A Few Serving Suggestions:

On top of crostini as an appetizer, along with slices of pecorino
Wine:  Vernaccia or Orvieto

Combine with a dish of pasta and spicy sausage
Wine:  Chianti, Nero d’Avola, Morellino, Rossi di Montepulciano, Montefalco Rosso

Combine with a dish pasta seasoned with garlic, olive oil, and toasted breadcrumbs
Wine:  Vernaccia, Orvieto, Verdicchio, Falanghina

With roasted potatoes and sweet sausage
Wine:  Chianti, Nero d’Avola, Morellino, Rossi di Montepulciano, Montefalco Rosso

As a pizza topping
Wine:  Your favorite regional red or white

Of course, you could serve simply as a side dish to meat and seafood entrees !

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Joel Mack has worked for a celebrated importer / distributor of Italian wines and continues to study the wines and winemaking of Italy. He has advised many restaurants in making their Italian wine list selections and has provided training to restaurant staff. Today, Joel conducts wine classes and leads specialized private and corporate tastings of Italian wines. Joel carried out his higher education at a highly regarded College of Music and continues to extend an artistic point of view to Italian wine, balanced with factual information about wine, its nature and identity. By day, he applies his time to collaborative software technology. Joel can be contacted at joel at vintrospective dot com.

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