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Dandelion sandwich (let's talk horta)

Dandelion sandwich (let's talk horta)
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  • Dandelion sandwich (let's talk horta)

    Post #1 - May 17th, 2024, 12:38 pm
    Post #1 - May 17th, 2024, 12:38 pm Post #1 - May 17th, 2024, 12:38 pm
    Maybe since I had a lackluster morel season this year, I've been turning my eye more toward wild spring greens. Field garlic has gone in everything — my favorite application is Black Forager's wild garlic dip: dehydrate, grind with salt, stir into sour cream.)

    I've always been horta-curious. I've relished the dish at restaurants. Heck, I've cooked dandelion greens before. But I have a whole new appreciation for them after preparing them for cicoria ripassata, a Roman recipe for wild greens on toast that I cribbed from my old friend Peter Barrett's new excellent Substack, Things on Bread.

    Image

    I followed his specs pretty closely. The only variation was a sprinkle of red pepper flakes with the garlic in the sauté step. Out of pan, I was worried the greens were on the verge of unpalatably bitter. I fortunately had the back half of a boule of homemade sourdough. And I gotta say some sort of freaking magic happens when it hits the toast. Excessive use of olive oil is key here. I used the hipster graza finishing oil on the greens before mounting. Amazing how such elemental ingredients can transcend. Eat thy lawn!
  • Post #2 - May 17th, 2024, 1:03 pm
    Post #2 - May 17th, 2024, 1:03 pm Post #2 - May 17th, 2024, 1:03 pm
    Thank for the hot tip, I like dandelion greens but really only use 'em when making a version of anterpima's spicy sausage and bitter green orecchiette.
  • Post #3 - May 17th, 2024, 2:57 pm
    Post #3 - May 17th, 2024, 2:57 pm Post #3 - May 17th, 2024, 2:57 pm
    HI,

    I have read in the past not to eat dandelions after they have flowered. I never think about them until I do, then I wonder what I missed.

    Were your dandelions before or after blooming? What you made looks very appealing, I will likely give a shot anyway.

    Thank you!

    Regards,
    CAthy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #4 - May 17th, 2024, 4:07 pm
    Post #4 - May 17th, 2024, 4:07 pm Post #4 - May 17th, 2024, 4:07 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:HI,

    I have read in the past not to eat dandelions after they have flowered. I never think about them until I do, then I wonder what I missed.

    Were your dandelions before or after blooming? What you made looks very appealing, I will likely give a shot anyway.

    Thank you!

    Regards,
    CAthy2


    This was post-flower. I can ask Peter what he thinks, though he's a pretty thorough writer and didn't mention anything of the sort.

    I picked a bunch and have been working my way through them in other dishes. Dandelion and shitake quesadillas on Masienda red masa handmade tortillas yesterday. The rest are going into dal palak as we speak.

    I think my palette has adjusted to the bitterness. They're nowhere as bitter as bitter melon, which I enjoy in moderation. But some of the bitterest greens I've had.
  • Post #5 - May 17th, 2024, 4:21 pm
    Post #5 - May 17th, 2024, 4:21 pm Post #5 - May 17th, 2024, 4:21 pm
    Okay after a quick Googles, I found an article by a highly trusted source, Forager Chef

    He recommends harvesting pre-flower, though implies that they're better fresh at this stage and older leaves need to be cooked. The whole appeal of horta to me, which I believe refers to the cooking of wild greens rather than dandelion specifically, is that it's a taming of wild ingredients into something delicious and nutritious. And like this Italian prep, the greens of horta are simmered for awhile before landing on the plate.
  • Post #6 - May 17th, 2024, 6:43 pm
    Post #6 - May 17th, 2024, 6:43 pm Post #6 - May 17th, 2024, 6:43 pm
    Jefe wrote:I've always been horta-curious. I've relished the dish at restaurants. Heck, I've cooked dandelion greens before. But I have a whole new appreciation for them after preparing them for cicoria ripassata, a Roman recipe for wild greens on toast that I cribbed from my old friend Peter Barrett's new excellent Substack, Things on Bread.

    Sounds like it will probably work for my overstock of mustard greens too.

    I've got a few other edible weeds: a couple years ago I made soup from stinging nettle (but that got it under control, just a couple plants this year), I've heard you can make pesto from garlic mustard, and if it weren't growing up through rocks I'd have burdock root I can use.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #7 - May 18th, 2024, 6:01 am
    Post #7 - May 18th, 2024, 6:01 am Post #7 - May 18th, 2024, 6:01 am
    JoelF wrote:
    Jefe wrote:I've always been horta-curious. I've relished the dish at restaurants. Heck, I've cooked dandelion greens before. But I have a whole new appreciation for them after preparing them for cicoria ripassata, a Roman recipe for wild greens on toast that I cribbed from my old friend Peter Barrett's new excellent Substack, Things on Bread.

    Sounds like it will probably work for my overstock of mustard greens too.

    I've got a few other edible weeds: a couple years ago I made soup from stinging nettle (but that got it under control, just a couple plants this year), I've heard you can make pesto from garlic mustard, and if it weren't growing up through rocks I'd have burdock root I can use.


    I think the simmer, then sauté ( + aromatic) technique would work great for mustard greens.

    I use garlic mustard a lot, usually as a green rather than an herb. I've done the pesto. But it's about as bitter as dandelion and the allium notes take a backseat. I like to stir it into a bowl of hot noodles (dressed with some sort of Asian ferment mounted with butter.) Not to brag, but I've been so diligent pulling garlic mustard, I have to venture to the far edge of our property/neighbor's yards to find it these days.

    I'm lousy at identifying nettles, but would love to work with them.

    And I've harvested burdock root and it's always too woody and fibrous to have culinary value, even younger roots.
  • Post #8 - May 18th, 2024, 4:32 pm
    Post #8 - May 18th, 2024, 4:32 pm Post #8 - May 18th, 2024, 4:32 pm
    At the Evanston farmer's market today, Henry Brockman had stinging nettles and burdock. I think he actually plants the burdock. He won't be at the market for at least another two months though. He had to downsize his crop after he got run over by his tractor two months ago, but he is doing much better than expected, and he is planning to ramp up his planting in the next few weeks. His sister Teresa brought up all of his goodies today. I got some spinach and cilantro from him today.

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