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Dandelion Greens Gratin

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. dandelion greens (about 1 large bunch)
  • 1 c breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 c mozzarella cheese
  • 1-1/3 c plain yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt for seasoning

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and spray an oven dish with cooking spray.
  2. Fill a pot three-quarters full with water, add 2 tsp. salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Trim the greens of their lower stems and submerge the leaves in a large bowl of water, swishing to release any grit. Transfer directly to the boiling water and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Taste a leaf after 3 minutes; if it’s still tough or stiff, cook for 1 or 2 minutes more.
  5. Drain and spread the greens out on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a clean dishtowel to steam and release moisture, 10 to 15 minutes. Use the dishtowel to gently wring the greens and get rid of any remaining moisture.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, 3 Tbs. of the Parmesan, and a pinch of salt.
  7. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the yogurt and garlic to a boil, about 5 minutes. As soon as the mixture has come to a vigorous boil (but before it boils over), remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Add the lemon zest and season with 1/4 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  9. Transfer the greens to a cutting board and chop them coarsely. Put them in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and the mozzarella cheese. Using your fingers, mix well. Spread the mixture in the prepared gratin dish.
  10. Pour on the yogurt and stir gently with a spoon to distribute evenly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top the gratin evenly with the breadcrumbs.  Please note: there will be a lot of liquid; some of the crumbs will dissolve in it. The liquid will reduce in the oven and the top crumbs will get crisp.
  11. Bake the gratin until the crumbs are browned and the liquid has reduced below the crumb level, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
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