Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dandelion, Persimmon, and Medjool Date Salad

dandelion, persimmon, and Medjool date salad

Do have any weeding to do? If so, you may want to keep the dandelion greens for your next salad. No kidding. Look at the definition of dandelion greens: edible leaves of the common dandelion collected from the wild; used in salads and in making wine.

People have eaten dandelions for centuries. The name comes from the French, who called them dent de lion, or "lion's teeth" because of their sharp, serrated leaves. In fact, all parts of the dandelion are edible, though most people prefer the leaves to the flower and the root. You can harvest dandelions in your yard, especially during the spring and fall when they're at their tastiest, but I buy mine at the supermarket.


Dandelion greens have a bitter flavor similar to chicory, endive, and escarole and are best when paired with sweet or salty foods. Try them raw in salads or cooked; they can be boiled, steamed, or lightly sauteed. Also, season them generously with salt, which reduces the bitterness.

If, like me, you like a "bite" in your salad greens, then you won't be disappointed with this Dandelion, Persimmon, and Medjool date Salad. My inspiration came from a particularly productive trip to the farmers' market on Sunday morning where I purchased crisp Fuyu persimmons and succulent Medjool dates. The sweet fruit acts as a foil to the bitter salad greens which are drizzled with a deliciously tangy vinaigrette made of honey, Dijon mustard, orange juice, and fresh rosemary.

Now, just think of all the money you'll save by not having to purchase any more weed killer.

Dandelion, Persimmon, and Medjool Date Salad
Makes 4 servings
Print recipe only here.

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard (or regular Dijon plus 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds)
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste

2 bunches dandelion greens, washed, stems removed, and chopped**
2 small Fuyu persimmons, each cut into 6 wedges
4 Medjool dates, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lightly toasted pecans, sliced lengthwise

For the vinaigrette, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the dandelions and persimmons. Pour half of the vinaigrette and toss until coated. Divide evenly among four plates. Add dates and pecans to each plate. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.

**Dandelion greens are available at most supermarkets as well as organic specialty markets. Bitter greens such as chicory, frisee, and endive make good substitutes.

You might also like:

Watercress, Seckel Pear, and Brie Salad

Bulgur Salad with Chickpeas, Cranberries, and Toasted Almonds

Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) on Crispy Polenta with a
Rosemary-Goat Cheese Sauce

This week Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen is celebrating her third year anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging. In fact, it will be Kalyn's last official hosting since she is passing the torch to Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. Thank you, Kalyn, for your time, dedication, and enthusiasm.

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