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Tuesday
May052009

Citrus Salad over Dandelion Greens

I was thrilled to see Dandelion Greens in a local health food store this weekend. As children my sister and I  would pick them from the lawn to make salad. We lived in a rural area on 60 acres. We didn’t worry about fertilizer because my dad didn’t use it. Our lawn was green and that’s all that mattered.

My parents are first generation Italian—Rocco and Angelina. My mother would occasionally make dandelion salad or battered and fried zucchini flowers. And, she served artichokes way before they became popular. My grandmothers and great aunts were good cooks and my mother was a good cook. My sister and I learned from them.

We grew up in a rural section of New Jersey. (Yes, Virginia, there are rolling hills in NJ.) My dad would buy bushel baskets of fruits and vegetables from local farmers and we’d can or freeze them for winter meals. He had a huge garden with corn, lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes. Wonderful, juicy, red Jersey tomatoes. Just pick them, wipe them off on your jeans, and bite. Sometimes we’d bring a salt shaker into the garden so we could salt the tomato as we ate it. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Talk about eating local and seasonal. It was a way of living.

OK, I’m reminiscing and could do it all day. We didn’t eat citrus salad over our dandelion greens but I thought this might be a nice update. The citrus is sweet and tart and the dandelions are a little bitter. It’s colorful and would make a nice side for grilled fish.

Citrus Salad Over Dandelion Greens

One bunch of dandelions
1 grapefruit
1 large navel orange
1 tsp. of honey
1sp. of lime juice
salt and pepper
olive oil
3 strips of cooked GF bacon, cut into small pieces
1 slice of red onion, diced

Wash and dry the dandelions.

Cut the citrus into wedges removing pith and the section membranes. Sprinkle with the red onions, salt and pepper. Toss with honey, lime juice, salt and pepper. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Cut up the dandelions, drizzle with olive oil and a few tablespoons of the juice created by the citrus salad. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the oranges & grapefruit over the dandelions and top with the bacon pieces.

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