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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Weed or Feed? Dandelion Salad

I am going to ask a question of any of you "Stay At Home Moms" who might be reading this.  Exactly how many of you plan and eat whatever sounds delicious for lunch?  How many just look in the fridge, see whatever is left over and eat that?  I fall in the latter camp and I have had many leftovers lately with the exception of salad, and I miss it. Since starting this no food shopping for a month I have been very conscious making just enough salad for our meal with none remaining.  Smart planning? Yes, and it does stretch lettuce and salad fixings but it is also cutting into my lunch options.

Today was a glorious day, so I spent part of it outside puttering in yard.  I noticed my parsley bed was huge and needed to be cut immediately.  While I was harvesting it I spied a gigantic young dandelion plant* in the center of the bed.  Being the hipster that I am (not) I thought a big dandelion might equal lunch, so I brought it in the house to prepare to eat.

I washed it well, then tore it into bite size pieces and plated it. A half of a tomato and about a quarter of a Texas sweet onion in cut large julienne strips went on top of it.  I tried topping it with a drizzle of oil and vinegar with ground pepper and a dash of salt.  After tasting it, I found it too bitter for my liking so I topped it with a little Ken's raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing.  The sweetness in the dressing offset the bitterness of the greens and created a really nice lunch salad.  After reading about them I understand the closer they are to blooming the more bitter they will become.  This one had not yet bloomed and it was still fairly bitter so I think the blooming ones might be almost inedible.

If you have any dandelions growing in a place untouched by pets or pesticides you might want to try this.  * These were in a raised bed the dog doesn't bother and is not sprayed with chemicals, so I felt safe eating it.

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