Welcome to the second installment of "WTF, CSA?" Each week this CSA season, we'll help you make use of your overflowing CSA baskets. You ask, we answer. That's how this works. Or rather, you shouted, "WTF?" into your CSA box and now we're going to tell what on earth to do with all those dandelion greens.
We love how you keep surprising us with the weirdness in your CSA boxes. This week, dandelion greens were the item throwing you a curveball.
Dandelion greens are exactly what they sound like. Yep, that's right -- those weeds growing in your backyard are totally edible (as long as they haven't been sprayed with any pesticides), but farmers also cultivate them for us to enjoy and they are eaten all over the world. These greens are not only delicious, they are also great for you -- they're packed with vitamin A and calcium.
Because the greens are bitter, they pair perfectly with rich flavors: think goat cheese, egg yolk, bacon, potatoes. One friend confessed to us, "I don't know what to make with them, other than gross tea." We'll keep tea out of the equation for this week, and instead provide you with this list of delicious uses for these bitter greens.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.theperennialplate.com/recipes/2011/05/wild-spring-green-pizza/" target="_hplink">Wild Spring Green Pizza recipe from The Perennial Plate</a></strong> Even though we're past ramp and nettle season (which play a big part in this recipe), you can substitute things that are still around like green garlic and asparagus for the other pesto components in this recipe.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/warm-dandelion-greens-wit_n_1062522.html" target="_hplink">Warm Dandelion Greens With Roasted Garlic Dressing</a> recipe</strong> Dandelion greens are strong enough to stand up to the bold flavors in this delicious salad.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://straightfromthefarm.net/2008/06/09/dandelion-and-red-potato-salad-recipe/" target="_hplink">Red Potato and Sautéed Greens Salad recipe from Straight from the Farm</a></strong> Dandelion greens are the perfect complement to the creamy white beans and potatoes.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/dandelion-salad-with-goat_n_1061944.html" target="_hplink">Dandelion Salad with Goat Cheese & Tomato Dressing recipe</a></strong> Pasta and bacon take this delicious salad straight into main-dish territory.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Chicory-in-Anchovy-Sauce-Puntarelle-in-Salsa-di-Alici" target="_hplink">Dandelion Greens In Anchovy Sauce from Saveur</a></strong> Okay, so technically this recipe calls for puntarelle (the Italian word for chicory), but Saveur thinks you can use dandelion greens in its place, and we couldn't agree more.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/sauteed-mushroom-salad_n_1049829.html" target="_hplink">Sautéed Mushroom Salad recipe</a></strong> We promise this is the last salad. But, it's summer! Who wants to turn their oven on anyway? We love the technique of pouring the hot, sherry laced mushrooms over the greens to wilt them, just slightly.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/2010/02/cooking-for-one-carbonara-two-ways.html" target="_hplink">Crispy Spaghetti Carbonara With Dandelion Greens And Pecorino recipe from Big Girls Small Kitchen</a></strong> Man, do we love carbonara. In this version, the richness of the egg tempers the dandelion greens.
<strong>Get the <a href="http://heartseasecottage.typepad.com/gails-garden-at-heartsea/2012/05/recipes-dandelion-colcannon.html" target="_hplink">Dandelion Colcannon recipe from Gail's Garden at Heartsease Cottage</a></strong> We love colcannon, but usually think of it as a side-dish. This version, with dandelion greens and chickpeas (!) thrown into the mix, can be eaten as a warm, soothing main-dish.