Now dandelion to me was always a weed or a wish.
Then on our Eating Around the World Adventure we headed to Switzerland and in this tiny little cookbook I found there was this Easter Salad recipe and it was made with dandelion leaves. So I thought, why not try it, it is growing in our garden. Well I'm glad I did as it is one of my favourite salads of all time, I love it.
Why is it called Easter salad, because in Switzerland at Easter, when the winter snows mostly have disappeared, the tiny dandelion shoots spring up and these are harvested eagerly for spring salad. Why I call it Easter salad, every year I colour eggs for Easter and this salad is the perfect way to use up those eggs. But as I live in Australia and I have dandelions growing all year round, I make this when ever I feel like it.
This can be served as a side dish, but I love it as a meal, the bacon and egg make it a complete meal for me.
Try and use young dandelion leaves, as the older they are, the more bitter they are, but I don't even mind the bitter ones.
Croutons would also be a lovely addition to this salad, will definitely add them next time.
So next time you see a dandelion, don't just think weed or wish, now think, weed, wish or salad.
200g young dandelion leaves
1 small onion or 2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled, halved or quartered
2 bacon rashers, diced
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
2 tablespoons light olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon French Mustard
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Wash the dandelion leaves very carefully in several waters. Drain in a sieve or salad spinner.
Add sunflower oil to a frying pan, add bacon and cook stirring until the bacon is crisp. Place in a paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil. Allow to cool.
In a large salad bowl, mix the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, and blend in the oil to make a vinaigrette dressing.
Add the onion or spring onions and the garlic. Roughly chop the dandelion leaves and put into the bowl, but toss them in the dressing at the last minute before serving or they will become soggy.
Once the dandelion has been tossed in the dressing arrange the eggs and bacon on top of the dandelion leaves.
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