I love dandelion greens! These delectable bitters are chock-full of potassium, vitamins A, C, K, folate, and choline. In herbal medicine, we use them as a classic bitter tonic to stimulate digestion and gallbladder activity, and to decongest the liver. In some people, they have a notable diuretic effect, making them useful for those who tend to get puffy with stress, inflammation, or hormonal changes. They are a perfect cleansing food.
Their bitterness can vary tremendously, so I recommend tasting a corner of a leaf before purchasing if you’ve never tried them, and are thinking about eating them raw. I try to eat a dandelion leaf per day in spring and early summer.
Cooking attenuates the bitterness, and preserved lemon adds a savory, rich acidity. If you’re eating nightshades, I recommend adding Warm Pepper Flakes from All Star Organics Farm in Marin to this recipe. Fabulous.
1 large bunch dandelion greens
1/8 Preserved lemon (see recipe here) or the peel from a ¼ lemon, rubbed with salt
3-4 small whole garlic cloves
½ tsp warm pepper flakes
Rinse the dandelion greens well, or soak and agitate in cold water (sometimes they are quite dirty!)
Roughly chop the greens
Mince the preserved lemon
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan
Add garlic cloves and warm pepper flakes, if using. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
Add greens and sauté until lightly wilted. Add the minced preserved lemon and continue to sauté until the greens are fully wilted and a bright, dark green. Remove from heat and serve. Preserved lemons are quite salty—but you can add salt to taste.
For more healthy spring detox recipes, download the Happy Liver Detox guide.
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