Dandelion Greens with Ramps, Bacon and Blue Cheese

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There is nothing bashful about this salad. It features lots of assertive flavors including dandelion leaves: one of my favorite bitter greens. Like chicory, radicchio, watercress, and arugula, dandelion leaves are very cleansing and they are also particularly helpful for the digestion. Dandelion greens are super high in vitamins and minerals, as well.

Dandelion greens are best (least bitter) in the early spring before they’ve had a chance to flower. You are, of course, welcome to use those in your yard; just make sure they are unsprayed, not too close to the road, and haven’t been urinated on by your furry friends ;)

Because I have two dogs, I usually buy organic dandelion greens at my natural foods store for use in recipes like this curry or this salad.

If you really don’t like/can’t find organic dandelion greens, you can substitute your favorite greens. The bacon is optional, but I like the crunchy saltiness it adds. I only eat bacon from pastured pigs, with no (potentially carcinogenic) preservatives added. If you don’t want to use bacon, you can sizzle your ramps in some olive oil instead. I mentioned in my last post that I foraged a whole bunch of ramps recently. You may be able to find some in your own woods are at your Farmer’s Market, but it not, you can substitute green onion bottoms in the salad and chopped shallot in the dressing.

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More on Dandelions:
Info from Wild Man Steve Brill

Recipes:
Sassy Radish’s Dandelion Greens with Shaved Fennel, Celery, and Parsley
Dandelion Greens Salad with Blackberries from Kirsten’s Kitchen
Smoky Dandelion Greens with Spinach and Pine Nuts from Affairs of Living

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Dandelion Greens Salad with Ramps, Bacon and Blue Cheese

Serves 1-2

Ingredients

Salad:

  • * 3 strips bacon preferably pastured and preservative-free
  • * 8 ramps bottom white parts only
  • * 4 cups chopped organic dandelion greens
  • * 1 cup chopped organic parsley
  • * approximately 3 tablespoons blue cheese I used Cashel Blue Irish Farmhouse cheese

Dressing:

  • * juice from 1/2 fresh lemon preferably a Meyer lemon
  • * 1/4 cup best olive oil
  • * 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • * 2 ramps bottom white parts only, minced
  • * pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  • 1. Cook the bacon in a hot skillet until crisp on both sides. Remove to a towel to drain and cool. Leave the hot bacon fat in the pan over medium heat.
  • 2. Toss the ramps into the hot bacon fat. Allow to cook for a minute or two, until nicely browned on all sides. Remove and allow to cool, then crumble into a small bowl and set aside.
  • 3. Coarsely chop the ramps and mix in a medium bowl with the greens, parsley, and crumbled bacon. Set aside while you make the dressing.
  • 4. Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and then pour over the salad. Crumble the blue cheese over the salad and serve.

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16 thoughts on “Dandelion Greens with Ramps, Bacon and Blue Cheese”

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  10. I have to find dandelion greens! They are so healthy for you. Maybe I’ll have to grow some in the garden. Wonderful combination of ingredients!

    Reply
  11. I have never had dandelion greens! I did have the flowers battered and deep fried once (someone else made them) and I do remember they were good!

    Reply
  12. what a perfectly delicious salad……you had me at the bleu cheese, then you added bacon…..wow….love the fact you actually found your own ramps….too cool!!

    Reply
  13. Your last spring greens dish looked fabulous. And this one looks excellent also, with its wonderful combination of deep flavors. Since we don’t have ramps or dandelions where I live, I might try to approximate your salad using the small leaves from my garden collards and mature scallions. Wish me luck!

    Reply