Dandelion Greens Salad

May  8, 2011
5 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

One of the vendors at the Farmer's Market just started getting dandelion greens a couple of weeks ago, and I will say I was happy to see them! When I walked over to get them yesterday she asked me "are you ready for these?" and so - fair warning - they are an intense green. Strong and bitter, but I think balanced with some sweet and salt and richness they are absolutely delicious. - aargersi —aargersi

Test Kitchen Notes

Alone, a pile of dandelion greens can be brutally bitter, but aargersi has devised the perfect strategy for taming them into submission: bacon (obviously), maple and leek-sweetened vinaigrette, and a luscious poached egg. The rich yolk that clings to the leaves softens any lingering rough edges and wins over the skeptics. We think this is the perfect brunch salad, but we plan to sneak it in at lunch and dinner too. And now we're going to have a hard time eating dandelion greens any other way.
- A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 big bunch of dandelion greens, about 4 heaping cups when cleaned
  • 1 large leek (or 2 small ones)
  • 6 strips bacon (some of the bacon inevitably gets swiped during the cooking process)
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • A pot of salted water with a splash of white vinegar for poaching.
  1. Clean the dandelions: remove the thick part of the stems and gently tear the leaves into bite size pieces. Wash them and dry them very thoroughly. Put them in a big bowl that you can toss the salad in.
  2. Prepare the leeks: I used the chop first, rinse second method, and then took them for a spin in the salad spinner to dry. It worked great! Use white and light green parts only and chop faily small - I quartered the leek and cut 1/4 inch strips. Put a large pot of salted water on and get it started for poaching the eggs, add a splash of white vinegar to the pot as well. Crack each egg into an individual dish.
  3. Now cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove it to drain and turn the heat to medium. I didn't remove any fat from the pan but bacon differs - if you have a deep layer of fat in the pan maybe remove a little. Add the leeks and cook them until they are quite soft. Turn off the heat and add the vinegar, stirring to get the good bits up off the pan. Pour the leeks and all of the liquid into a small bowl, grind some pepper in and add the oilve oil and maple syrup. Whisk the dressing and taste - mine had plenty of salt from the bacon but add more if you need it. Also test acidity, you may want another splash of vinegar. Crumble the bacon onto the greens. Toss the warm dressing with the dandelion greens and bacon.
  4. Poach the eggs: slide each one into the boiling water and let them poach for 3-4 minutes. While they are poaching go ahead and toss the greens a few more times (the warm dressing will wilt them ever so slightly) and then portion them onto 4 plates. Make sure that each plate gets equal amount of bacon or fights will break out.
  5. Top each salad with a poached egg, grind a bit more pepper over the top, and serve. Enjoy the springtime!!!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Elizabeth Walker
    Elizabeth Walker
  • Blissful Baker
    Blissful Baker
  • hardlikearmour
  • boulangere
  • wildgreens

Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

54 Reviews

Elizabeth W. March 22, 2018
This was really yummy. I did not have leeks so crisped up one whole shallot in butter, and added a second whole shallot to the cooked bacon (leaving bacon in the pan). I only used one T of maple syrup. My friend's 13-yr-old gamer son lapped it up. Great result!
Blissful B. May 4, 2013
There's something kind of fun about foraging in your own backyard. This is my first experience eating dandelion greens; thanks for making them tasty! (Although I still had to chase my salad with a teaspoon of honey, but since it was raw honey, I figure that's as medicinal as the greens!)
emery April 17, 2013
Dandelions are my favorite spring green --it's not spring 'till i've had a salad. wild and free .
hardlikearmour April 5, 2012
This salad rocks! Just made it for supper with a few minor alterations due to poor grocery shopping skills and laziness. Used a mix of red onion and shallot instead of leeks. Used sherry vinegar (for some reason I was out of red wine vinegar.) Instead of poaching the eggs I used the hot skillet I'd cooked the bacon in to baste them (i.e. cook them sunny side up with a lid over them so the top white gets cooked, but the yolk is still runny.) My husband and I ate the whole bowl full! Thanks for such a delicious use of dandelion greens.
boulangere May 25, 2011
You're my #1!
aargersi May 26, 2011
:-) thank you!!!
lapadia May 26, 2011
"Ditto" to boulangere's comment!
wildgreens May 24, 2011
I love dandelion greens. I think they are highly underappreciated. Congrats!
TinaMiB May 23, 2011
Congrats again for being a finalist!!!!

Hope to see you soon if you survived NOLA!!! Loved the pics over the weekend!

lorigoldsby May 22, 2011
Congrats to you. Inspiring idea...if it wasn't the finalist for this weeks contest, you could have resubmitted for the dirt cheap dinner,"cooks with weeds" but whatever the theme--this one is a winner!
aargersi May 23, 2011
We have been know to pick and eat random volunteers out of the yard!!
chefplerl May 21, 2011
My neighbor uses no weed killer in his lawn, so I decided to try his "wild ones", rather than those from the store. Also substituted a green onion for the leeks and artificial maple syrup for the real stuff - using what I had available. Made a half recipe, with just one egg (I'm alone this week). Despite all the substitution, my first attempt at deandelion anything turned out scrumptious!
aargersi May 23, 2011
Oh I am so glad that you tried and liked!!
RIPNGUITAR May 21, 2011
With an overabundance of dandelion in my yard. I relished the thought of munching down this for the first time ever. Loved it. Plus, I think the subtle bitterness is very healthy. Thank you from Montana.
aargersi May 23, 2011
You are welcome from Texas :-)
I just happened to have a bunch of dandelion greens calling to me in my refrigerator and so I made this amazing dish tonight for dinner. It was absolutely great. The flavor combinations are perfect, and dandelion greens are tough to work with due to their bitterness. The maple syrup was particularly inspired, aargersi, and really made the dish a standout! You've got my vote!! Congrats!!
aargersi May 21, 2011
Oh yay I am so glad you like it! Thanks!!
zieker May 20, 2011
I just so happened to be over at aargersi's last weekend when she pulled out a huge bunch of dandelion greens from the fridge (yes, I too have tons in my backyard that I can't bring myself to eat...yet!). I've never been a big fan of them, but in humoring Mrs. A, I let myself be a guinea pig once more. I mean, c'mon! Who turns down free food from the kitchen of this woman!? Well guess what? I'm now a huge fan of the bitter, pesky green (of course, I'll eat anything with bacon on or in it!). This salad is a great starter or side, with or without the egg (I went sans). Truly worth trying out! — I may have to stop mowing for a bit to harvest some tender baby greens for myself. :-)
cheese1227 May 19, 2011
I love the way you sweeten the larger dandelion greens that you can buy with the maple syrup!! I prefer to eat the younger plants from my back yard because the larger ones I find to be bitter. But the syrup with the egg and bacon, it's like breakfast greens. Great combo.
fiveandspice May 19, 2011
Woowoo! Go aargersi! Wow. I've only ever made dandelion greens in ways where I didn't manage to overcome the bitterness and I couldn't quite enjoy them. I am most definitely going to need to try this.
aargersi May 19, 2011
Bacon and eggs fix everything :-)
drbabs May 19, 2011
Hi from Portugal! Congratulations for being a finalist!!
aargersi May 19, 2011
Hey Dr B! We are en route to NOLA and we will tip a couple in your honor!!
Loves F. May 19, 2011
Congrats--this looks SO good! I'd throw the whole mess on top of a slice of grilled French bread!
aargersi May 19, 2011
Awesome idea!!
nannydeb May 19, 2011
Yay Ab!
Sagegreen May 19, 2011
Beautiful! Bacon and maple are like icing on this salad.
wssmom May 19, 2011
boulangere May 19, 2011
You may just get me to try dandelion greens.
aargersi May 19, 2011
Take the dandelion plunge my friend !!