Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dandelion Salad with Anchovy Dressing

Kate, one of our D.C. site hosts, writes, "Since dandelion greens are in the boxes this week it seems like a good time to share one of my family's favorite dandelion recipes. This one is really quick if you already have the croutons on hand."

Dandelion Salad with Anchovy Dressing
Serves 4 to 6

Adapted from Potager: Fresh Garden Cooking in the French Style, by Georgeanne Brennan, published in 2000.

This is a vibrant alternative to the traditional dandelion salad with bacon, chopped hard-cooked eggs, and green onions. The garlic anchovies stand up to the greens and the combination is savory rather than bitter.

½ cup Savory Croutons (see recipe below)
6 flat anchovy filets in oil, drained
2 largish or 3 smallish cloves garlic
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 bunches dandelion greens, washed & dried

Prepare the croutons and set aside. To make the dressing, in the bottom of a salad bowl, mash the anchovies and garlic together with the back of a fork or a pestle. Gradually stir in the olive oil, then a few generous grinds of black pepper. Set aside. Trim any thick, woody stem ends off the dandelion greens, leaving only the tender leaves. If the leaves are large, cut them on a long diagonal, into 2 or 3 pieces. Leave the small leaves whole. You should have about 3 cups of leaves. Add the greens to the salad bowl. Toss them with the anchovy dressing until they are thoroughly coated. Scatter the croutons over the top of the salad and serve.

Savory Croutons
8 slices dry French Bread
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons minced mixed fresh herbs, such as oregano, thyme and rosemary

Without removing the crusts, cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, reduce the heat to low, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bread cubes and cook slowly over low heat until golden and crusty, about 4 -5 minutes on each side. When done, sprinkle the cubes with the salt and herbs, turn a few times in the pan & then remove to a paper towel to drain & cool. Makes about 4 cups.

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