Monday, September 6, 2010

Sauteed Dandelion Greens

There have been dandelion greens at our coop for about two weeks now.

Every time I near the vegetables, I see them out of the corner of my eye and quickly turn the other way out of a sudden and overwhelming interest in the carrots. I've been on a mustard greens kick, I think primarily because they're the leafy green most distant from the dandelions. I almost reached for collard greens the other day, then thought better of it...too close to the dandelion greens; too obvious, if I picked up one, then I would have seen the other.

But yesterday, they had been moved. Despite my carefully averted gaze as I edged past the lettuces, it turned out I had averted straight at them. Front and center. Dandelion greens. I had definitely seen them. They were new. So far this summer, I have fearlessly (or, let's face it, fearfully, in several cases) picked up every new, untasted, uncooked vegetable that has presented itself and cooked it. I bit my lip. I furrowed my brow. I glared at the guy who was giving me a weird look.

Was I going to be cowed by a weed? Was it fair for a weed to be engaged in such a decidedly unvegetarian-sounding activity as cowing? Was I overthinking this? And was it just me, in my agitated state of vegetable-induced anxiety, or was there actually not one but several happy, hippy voices around me singing merrily along to the Simon and Garfunkel song currently playing in the store?

Lulled by the sense that a truly satanic vegetable couldn't survive a surround-sound onslaught of a remarkably on-key, chorused tune of "Feeling Groovy," I picked up the dandelion greens and deposited them in my basket. I took them home. I told myself that my deep and abiding hatred for dandelions was related solely to the demonic dandelions entrenched in my lawn that can somehow regrow from the millimeter of root the inevitably snaps off when you're spending large portions of your otherwise quite tolerable life weeding them in a fruitless attempt to keep them from completely overtaking life as we know it, and had nothing to do with the red-stemmed leaves sitting on the kitchen counter. I told myself no, seriously, I mean it. I told myself cooking and eating them was the only possible way to get the upper hand -- it would be like weeding them, only with more of a victorious feeling. I cooked them. I ate them. I feel, yes, slightly victorious.

Olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1-2 cloves garlic
1 bunch dandelion greens, sliced crosswise into strips, rinsed well, and dried in a salad spinner
Salt & pepper

Saute onion in some olive oil over medium-low heat until it smells sweet and begins to take on a little color. (The sweet onion offsets some of the bitterness of the dandelion greens, so make sure it's good and caramelized.) Add garlic and saute for another minute, then add the dandelion greens. Turn the heat up a little and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and serve.

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