Braised Dandelion Leaves
- 2 pounds fresh young dandelion leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 8 bacon slices
- 4-inch square of bacon rind
- 1 cup beef stock
- 6 parsley sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons soft butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
Clean the dandelion leaves well and discard any brown parts. Wash under cold running water to remove all traces of soil.
Bring 4 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons salt to a boil in a large soup kettle. Drop the dandelion leaves into the boiling water for 10 minutes. Lift out the leaves and plunge into cold water, then drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350. In a 12-inch casserole with a cover, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, put the carrots and onions in and cook them for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove form heat and arrange the dandelion leaves on top of the carrots and onions and drape the bacon and rind on top. Add the beef stock, parsley sprigs, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer on the stove, cover casserole tightly, and bake on the lower shelf in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
When serving, arrange the dandelion leaves on a heated platter with the bacon slices around them. Discard the bacon rind and bay leaf.
Leave 1 cup of the cooking fluid in the casserole and stir in the soft butter. When the butter has melted, add flour, salt and pepper, and stir to a thin roux. Strain the sauce over the dandelion leaves and sprinkle with the finely chopped parsley. Serves six.
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