Officially spring when the weeds beat out the flowers – even in the grocery store.
Today was one of those exciting days at the market. Everywhere I turned there was new, fresh seasonal produce. I was greeted by thin, crisp greens, herbs and miniature everything like these potatoes which were about the size of fallen acorns.
I was worried that they might be too bitter. I had always been a little nervous about dandelions, unsure of what to do with them. I figured they must be pretty damn good though, judging from the number of elderly Mediterranean women I’ve spotted out along the highway boulevards collecting the young greens.
Knowing that you can neutralize a bit of bitterness with lemon or by choosing early, fresh leaves of any bitter greens, I set out to do just that with the dressing I had in mind for the salad. Of course, my live-in partner in crime’s first curiosity was to why I would buy weed, since I would soon be able to harvest from my very lawn in a matter of weeks, naturally.
But spring has sprung and I just couldn’t have waited any longer.
WARM NEW POTATO AND DANDELION GREENS SALAD
1/2 Lb Dandelion Greens, one big bunch with the tough stems removed
1/2 Lb New Baby Red Potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoon Good Quality Grainy Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice, juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 Lemon
8 Capers, finely minced
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
1 Garlic Clove, slivered
Boil the potatoes until just fork tender; about 10 – 15 minutes depending on their size.
Combine the lemon juice, oil and mustard in a medium sized bowl with tall sides.
Whisk throughly to emulsify.
Mince the capers and add to the dressing along with 3/4 of the lemon zest, reserving the remainder for garnish.
Continue to whisk to incorporate.
Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Drain potatoes and cover to steam while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Rinse the dandelion greens well and spin to dry.
Remove any of the lower, tough stems then tear leaves into about 2″ pieces.
Peel and very thinly slice the garlic clove on the diagonal.
In a small sauté pan add the pine nuts along with the slivered garlic and dry toast until golden and hot.
Toss the greens in the dressing then add the potatoes.
Transfer to your serving plate and top with reserved lemon zest, pine nuts and garlic.