I love bitter greens and I try to incorporate them into my diet regularly. Among my favorite bitters are dandelion greens, which are increasingly available at farmers markets and in select grocery stores like Whole Foods, for instance.
Dandelions are great for flushing the liver and kidneys, supporting digestion, and strengthening the bones (they’re a vitamin K powerhouse!), and they’re loaded with antioxidants that prevent free-radical damage to cells and DNA, slowing down the aging process in our cells. They’re also thought to promote a healthy nervous system and are being studied for their role in fighting Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
While dandelions are not for everyone, this simple recipe brings out the best in them! Dandelion greens loooove bacon grease and their bitterness complements the meatiness of the bacon, while the yellow bell pepper brings much-needed sweetness without added sugar. The recipe is marvelous with steak or a fried egg and can be enjoyed either as a side or main dish.
This is also a recipe that can be partially prepared ahead of time. Dandelions and bell peppers can be washed, cut and dried 2-3 days ahead and chilled in sealable bags lined with paper towels.
NOTE: Dandelions are most delicious when harvested young. If you can, look for smaller leaves, as they will be significantly softer and less bitter. Farmed dandelions are also generally much less bitter than wild ones.
Makes 2 servings
- 180 g dandelion greens
- 4 strips of bacon
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- salt to taste
- a pinch of nutmeg
- Cut dandelions into 1/2 strips or whatever shape you like.
- If you’re worried about the bitterness, soak the cut leaves in very salty, very cold water for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile cut the bell pepper and bacon into strips and set aside. Make sure the bell pepper is cut quite thin.
- Take dandelions out of the water (if soaked) and pat try. Make sure the leaves are dry before proceeding.
- Throw bacon in a cast iron skillet and cook until it starts to crisp, about 5 minutes.
- When bacon has started to crisp, add dandelions and bell peppers.
- Add salt and nutmeg and toss frequently, until slightly wilted.
- Serve right away, while hot.