First of all, I owe you a deep apology for my absence in the past few weeks. Life has been extra busy lately and it has kept me from blogging regularly.
So much has happened in these past few months. I have written countless posts in my head telling you all about what was going on (a super blue blood moon, plans to move back to Jordan, events, recipes, adventures, trials, and tribulations… you name it) but I was never able to find the time to put pen to paper (or more accurately fingers to keyboard)!
Things are settling down now and hopefully, that means that I can go back to posting regularly from now on 🙂 I have really missed sharing recipes, thoughts, and pictures with all of you and I have dearly missed reading your kind comments. I do hope that you have missed me too. So let’s get to it 🙂
Today’s recipe is one that I impatiently countdown winter days every year, waiting for spring just to enjoy it. You see, in the Levant (Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan) wild greens play a major roll in people’s diet, especially around spring. Things like mallow, dandelion, and chicory are sold in vegetable markets and shops. They are used to make a variety of vegetarian recipes which are quite popular around spring time.
The reason behind that is that in the old days, people in large areas of the Levant were farmers and shepherds, they lived off the land and what it provided. As a result of that, the Levantine cuisine is very rice in plant-based recipes. Greens (wild and cultivated), seeds, and legumes are key players in the levantine cuisine.Add olive oil and you will discover the reason behind the fact that the Levantine diet is one of the healthiest diets out there. Seasonal, fresh ingredients with lots of greens, nuts, seeds and olive oil. Things that science has only recently begun to explore, have been staples in the cuisine of this part of the world for hundreds of years.
This recipe can be a little time consuming to prepare but I promise you, it is worth every minute. The mild sweetness of the onions, the tang of the lemon juice, the fruity nuttiness of the olive oil glistening on the cooked dandelion. Worth every minute! I promise!
- 400 g dandelion greens (check out the notes for substitutes)
- 1/3 (80 ml) to 1/2 cup/125 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 4 medium onion (about 400 g) thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- lemon wedges for garnish
1.Thoroughly wash and drain the dandelion.
2.Trim the bottoms of the stalks and coarsely chop.(2-3 cm segments work well)
3.You have 2 options when it comes to cooking your greens:
a. Fill a large pan with water and place over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil. Add salt to taste then add the dandelion. Bring back to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the dandelion and dunk in iced water.
b. Place the dandelion greens in a pan and saute over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until they are welted.
4. Place the cooked greens in a colander and take fistfuls of it and squeeze out as much liquid as you can (the liquid makes dandelion bitter), set aside.
5. Add the olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat, add the onions and fry them, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a rich golden brown. Keep a close eye on them as they tend to burn easily
6.Remove half of the onions with a slotted spoon and allow them to drain onto several layers of kitchen paper.Leave the remaining half in the pan.
7.Loosen the squeezed dandelion leaves and add them to the fried onion in the pan.
8.Sauté over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly until the dandelion is well blended with the oil and onion slices.
9.Transfer to a serving platter and allow to cool before serving at room temperature, garnished with the crispy onions and lemon wedges.
You can use chicory or kale as a replacement for the dandelion if you can’t find it.