Tuesday, April 5, 2016
D is for.....Dandelion Salad
For me, just the thought of dandelion salad, reminds of my grandmother and her sisters. I remember one particular Easter when we were gathered at my grandparents with a table full of relatives, I can still picture where I sat at the table, and I remember sitting there waiting for the treasured salad to be passed. I am glad I was, at least at that time, adventurous enough to try it, because I couldn't have been more than 7, as my grandfather died the April before I turned 8 and they had moved to assisted living 6 months before that, and I find that many times kids tend to be reluctant to try new things. I ate supper last evening with my friend's family and her almost 7 year old, much to her frustration, is reluctant to try things he is unfamiliar with, although he is improving and one day a few years from now I'm sure he will eagerly eat anything in the refrigerator, but I am glad, for whatever reason, I was eager for Aunt Anna's dandelion salad. Many years later, spring comes and I find time to go out to the yard to collect those treasured leaves for Easter dinner - although this year it was my mother who did the task.
She tried something new this year though, she soaked the leaves in salt water for 10 minutes, because she heard it took the bitter taste out, and she declared it the best dandelion salad she ever had.
So, if you are looking for a different spring dish, check your yard for some dandelion....but don't wait too long, if the dandelion has started it's bloom they are more bitter. After you have about 5-6 cups, rinse them well (it may take 3-4, to 5 washings depending how much dirt is on the leaves), soak them in salt water for 10 minutes, rinse again, drain and set aside to make a hot bacon dressing, or dandelion gravy. Pour the hot bacon dressing over the leaves and stir to wilt, add bacon pieces and hard boiled egg slices. And then, most importantly, invite me over.