Dandelion Greens with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing & Crispy Crumbs

1 1-pound bunch young dandelion greens, chopped

3 ounces sourdough bread, torn into pieces

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 ounce grated Parmegiano-Reggiano

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons freshly squeeze lemon juice

½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 cloves garlic, grated

3 anchovy fillets, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Soak the dandelion greens in a large bowl of ice-cold water for 30 to 45 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Toss together the breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons of the oil in a small bowl, making sure that the breadcrumbs are evenly coated. Stir in the Parmegiano and a generous pinch of salt. Spread on a baking tray and bake, stirring once or twice, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

 

Whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, and anchovies in a small bowl. Continue whisking while adding the remaining 1/3 cup oil in a thin stream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Drain the dandelion greens and dry in a salad spinner. Toss together the dandelion greens and dressing in a large bowl and refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange the salad on individual plates, divide the breadcrumbs among them, and serve immediately.

 

Serves 4 to 6 as a side salad. This recipe was inspired by the classic Roman puntarelle salad with anchovy dressing. Italian dandelion, like puntarelle and other chicories, has a pleasantly bitter flavor. Use young dandelion greens for this salad and other raw applications as they are relatively tender and sweet. Soaking the dandelion greens in ice water, though not absolutely necessary, leeches out excess bitterness and makes them crisp and succulent.

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