Insalata Primavera – Dandelion Salad
Summer is here and the garden flourishes. I love the summer. It is a time to prepare really fresh dishes, directly from the garden. The flavors of your garden are just so much more intense. Simple ingredients become a culinary festival. I saw a dandelion, Taraxacum Officinale in Latin and in Italian Tarassaco Comune, weed yesterday. I had a love/hate relationship with dandelions. I spent most of my Saturdays as a child removing dandelions from my yard yet when the flower turned into those balls of fluff, I would look forward to blowing them into the wind. I guess this means that I did a poor job removing the weeds in the first place.
Italy brought a new facet to dandelions. I was amazed to find them in my salad bowl. I looked in disbelief and asked if they were edible. I thought my friends were playing a joke, “Let’s see what we can get the dumb American to eat.” When they scarfed down the salad I realized this was no joke.
Tentatively I nibbled some of the leaves. I could not believe that this weed, I worked so hard to eliminate from the yard as a child, was actually good to eat. The taste is a bit bitter, very similar to arugula. This is a great salad. It is refreshing and has just enough energy to help you make it to dinner. It is important that the leaves are picked before the flower blooms. Once the flower blooms, the leaves will become very bitter. There are various versions around but this is mine.
Ingredients for 2 servings
¼ lbs. (100 g.) Dandelion leaves
1/8 lbs. (50 g) Radicchio
2 hardboiled eggs
1 small red onion
12 halves Walnut
4 tbs. Olive Oil
1 tbs. Apple Vinegar
Cut the Eggs in quarters. Wash, dry and break the Dandelion and Radicchio leaves into smaller pieces.
Thinly slice the Onions and chop the walnuts into large pieces.
In a small bowl, add the Olive Oil, salt, pepper and Apple Vinegar. Stir the liquid together.
In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients, except the vinaigrette. Dribble the vinaigrette over the salad and toss the salad a couple of times. Serve with fresh bread.
Tags: Italian Recipes Lombardia Salads Summer Foods Gourmet Foods Travel Italy