Cold weather calls for warm foods, be it a stew or a salad. Using a hearty green like dandelion to a make wilted salad is a quick, distinctive as well as satisfying option. Dandelion, also known as ‘lion’s tooth” due to the shape of the leaves, is an entirely edible plant though the leaves are most commonly used in food. The dandelion’s origin can be traced to Eurasia and is not only used regularly in multiple cuisines, but as an alternative to hops in beer, an ingredient in traditional root beer and a primary agent in detoxifying medicines. Dandelion greens have a slightly bitter flavor and can be overwhelming if not sautéed, blanched or marinated before included in a dish. I have partnered the cooked greens with pears for a sweet contrast and included coriander seeds for a vibrant lemony taste and garnished the salad with almonds for an added crunch. This salad is the perfect showcase for the aromatic magic of popping coriander seeds and is best-eaten warm, served immediately off the skillet.
makes ~2 servings
1 bunch dandelion greens
Juice from 1 lime
1 medium sized green or red pear
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
Trim the bottom 4 inches off the dandelion bunch. Tear the leaves into bite size pieces and place in a bowl with lemon juice and a pinch of salt, setaside. Leaving the skin on cut the pear in half, core it and slice into ¼ inch slices.
In an 8” skillet, heat up the olive oil and as soon as it is shimming, not smoking, Add the coriander seeds, they will pop within seconds, quickly add the sliced pear with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the pear on medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until it has a little caramel color on both sides.
Turn the heat off and add the dandelion greens and sliced almonds. Toss gently and serve.
ideas / variations
Add your favorite grated cheese ~ sliced Parmesan, Gruyere or goat cheese work well.
Replace the pear with apple
Instead of coriander seeds, use cumin seeds that will give the salad
smoky flavor or use mustard seeds, which will give off a ‘hot’ taste.