What’s a Four-Letter Word for Dandelion?
Is it weed or food? There are certainly always some dandelions in the yard and garden. Howard or I periodically take on dandelion patrol, but the ones that turn fluffy and go to seed make babies that come back to haunt us.
This week, we tried it as food. The Busa Farm booth at the Lexington Farmers Market had some lovely red dandelion greens for sale so I bought some. Yet another appealing recipe had arrived from NoTakeOut for Scrambled Eggs with Dandelion Greens and Goat Cheese served with Warm Chickpea Salad.
I had great plans for the meal, but I got home a little later than I expected, and the meal took a little longer to prepare than I thought. I had signed up for a class at the local bead shop Sweet Beads to make a tangle pendant. (See the picture of my finished project on the right!)
The dandelions turned out to be acceptable as food. I had a moment of panic when I trimmed the ends off the dandelion greens, and the stems oozed a milky liquid. I tasted it, and it was surprisingly bitter. I was concerned they wouldn’t actually be edible. Fortunately, after briefly boiling them, the extreme bitterness was gone. They were transformed to normal bitter greens (like mustard greens).
The eggs were tasty, but once again, the highlight of the No Take Out menu was the side salad. I loved the warm, garlicky chick pea salad. To begin with, I’m a big fan of chick peas. Not having planned ahead, I relied on canned beans, but it was still delicious. Warming the chickpeas was as simple as dropping them into boiling water for 2 minutes and draining them. Brillliant! I never thought of that. I’ll use this technique again for other bean salads. The salad was tangy from the vinegar, rich-tasting from the olive oil, and overall yummy. This will definitely be a repeat visitor to my table.
Warm Chickpea Salad
Adapted from NoTakeOut
1 large shallot, sliced thin
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
¼ tsp salt
½ cup parsley leaves, chopped fine
2 large carrots, peeled and grated (on the largest side of the grater)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, drained
While you prepare the ingredients, bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
In the serving bowl, whisk together the shallot, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Add the minced parsley and olive oil and combine well. Add the carrots and toss to coat.
When the water comes to a boil, add the chickpeas. Boil for 2 minutes, until warm, then drain well.
Add the chickpeas to the bowl and toss well. Season to taste.