Wild Thangs! Recipe for Wild Dandelion Greens
Yesterday I was chatting with one of my favorite people… and she was telling me a story about how she and her husband really wanted to do something with the dandelions growing in the yard. The experiment was fun but not palatable, she said. So here is a recipe and my thoughts on wild weeds. Specifically in this blog- dandelion.
Spring is a great time to detoxify and deep clean the liver, gallbladder and digestive tract. We Americans have a lack of bitter foods in our diet-just about the only bitter we ingest regularly is coffee. And… what usually happens after your first cup of coffee?? Bitter foods stimulate the liver to produce bile, which is stored in the gallbladder and then released when food passes into the digestive tract. Lack of sufficient bile in the diet can result in SO many digestive complaints, including general indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, hard stool, hemorrhoids and more. Emotionally, we may frustrated, angry, easily annoyed or impatient. Energetically we may feel sluggish, tired or bloated.
Spring greens are the very first of the juice of the Earth coming back into new life. My friend and acupuncturist Jeff Worth of the Boonsboro Wellness Center recently reminded me of the Doors song where they sing “Get your mojo risin’!”. Thats what the Earth is doing right now- and the spring greens can help get your mojo risin’ too.
Wild and Domestic Greens Saute
Dandelion and wild onion are two very easily identifiable spring plants, so I thought we would detox with these familiar friends. Good revenge too, eating those pesky weeds we pull all year. Join me for a wild food ID retreat weekend this May 2012 if you want to get to know some more wild edibles. The domestic greens are to make this dish taste familiar and good to the family, and to avoid any major tummy upset by ingesting too many vibrant wild weeds. You may of course use all wild greens if you wish. This is also a great recipe for any greens.
OK pick some dandelion greens. Go into the yard, and find some dandelions that have not yet flowered. Why? Once the stem emerges and the flower opens, the plant becomes really bitter! Pick the leaves in the basal rosette. Knock off any dust or dirt- keeps the sink cleaner. Pick a big fistful for this recipe.
Now. Find some wild onion. It looks like green onion tops, only a bit thinner or finer. Pinch the greens and sniff. If it smells strongly like onion or garlic- BINGO!. Use a spade to dig up the bulbs. Shake off the dirt. Get a palm full of these or more if you like onion flavor.
Bring ’em in the house. Wash ’em. You can use the entire onion- top and bulb- but I am persnickety and only use the bulb and 1 to 2 inches of the stem- just what is white. The furry thing in the picture is Aengus McKee’s nosey nose. Roughly chop the greens and onions.
Find a medium onion in the pantry and chop it. Chop 2 cloves of garlic or more, to taste. Garlic and onion are powerful blood cleansers. I eat onion, garlic and peppers every day if possible. Garlic is our most potent and broad spectrum natural antibiotic. Truly a gift from Gaia.
Roughly chop your domestic greens. Today, I am using a bunch of beet greens and my favorite- a bunch of collards. Recently I was talking with Kim Huneycutt– a talented massage therapist and nutrition coach- and she reminded me of the deep liver cleansing properties of beets and beet greens. Use your family’s favorite greens- spinach, chard, kale. You’ll reduce the cooking time for softer greens like spinach & chard. Do whatever you like with the beets- the most powerful liver/gallbladder detox to use the beets with is Raw Beet Salad. It is delicious- email me and I’ll send you the simple recipe.
Heat a large pot and cook 1 strip of bacon until brown. Pour off the extra fat. If I am cooking for vegetarian friends, I use ghee or coconut oil. The fat in the meat or oil softens the fibrous tissues in the plants and makes it palatable for us. Let’s face it- if it tastes good we will eat more of it! If you use ghee you’ll never even miss the bacon.
Add the onions- both wild and domestic. Saute on med-low heat until they begin to brown slightly and become transparent- about 10 to 15 minutes. Then add the garlic and saute a few more minutes. Add the greens and toss well to mix it all up.
Pour in 1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth. You can use water if you prefer. Cover, turn heat to low/simmer, and cook for at least 20 minutes until the greens are soft. Mix everything up once or twice and add a bit more broth if it gets too dry on the bottom of the pan.
Serve the greens with toasted pine nuts for a bit of protein. A chopped boiled egg on top is yummy too. Enjoy friends! Go pick your dandelions!!