Dandelion | Taraxacum officinale | Best known as a weed although it holds medicinal properties and value as (free) (nutritious) food. All parts (leaves, root, stem, and flower) can be eaten. The leaves contain lots of vitamins A and K, phosphorus, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, and flavonoids.
Wild Garlic | Allium vineale | These taste and smell more like onions than garlic. The whole plant can be eaten, and it can be found all over North America growing as a weed.
This dish looks pretty fancy and it smells absolutely wonderful. But it’s basically free if you forage for the greens and wild garlic and use leftover bacon grease*! Now that’s my kind of cooking.
Dandelion Greens With Toasted Garlic and Almonds
- 1 bunch of dandelion greens
- 4-6 wild garlic bulbs (or green onions) including 1-2 inches of the green stem if you’d like
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 T. bacon grease (or olive oil)
- Small handful of toasted, sliced almonds
- Pinch of salt
(You should check out that video – I made it) Start a medium pot of water boiling. Coarsely chop dandelion greens and add to boiling water. Stir occasionally until they turn bright green (30 seconds – 1 minute). Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and press with a towel to remove excess water. At this point your greens will look like they went through the washer and dryer – limp and shrunken. Never fear! They’ll look more appetizing once you get them in the skillet. But really, what does it matter if they taste amazing?
Heat your cooking fat in a medium skillet. Finely chop wild garlic and garlic. It’s not super garlicky, I promise. The wild garlic tastes more like onion than garlic. Cook in skillet until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally (30 seconds – 2 minutes). Add dandelion greens and stir for 30 seconds. Add almonds and salt and serve warm.
*I only recommend saving and using bacon grease if your bacon is high quality. That is, if it doesn’t have antibiotics, steroids, or additives and preferably was pasture-raised. The reason for this is that pork fat is where toxins are stored, so if your pig was raised in a toxic environment you would be eating those toxins. If, however, your pig was raised correctly in a healthy environment… that bacon grease is a (amazing tasting, mind you) great source of animal fat for cooking and you don’t have to worry about toxins. So there is a real reason people shy away from bacon and the resulting fat – but it’s because of the quality of the bacon, not bacon in general. So get yourself some high quality bacon and enjoy it! (Good) Bacon is good for you!!