OK, the title’s a cross between the classic “Eat your greens,” as grandmothers used to advise, and the once ubiquitous “Eat your Wheaties,” as the Cheerios folks used to advertise. But this time of year, I’m doing something that gives me a sense of being simultaneously virtuous and hedonistic.
Here’s what you do. Pick the dandelions before they blossom, hopefully uprooting them while you’re at it, and then wash the early greens before the plants turn altogether bitter. (Toss the roots aside; that’s the weeding part of the equation.) You then use the tiny leaves as the basis for salads or, I suppose, anything Florentine. Yes, food writer Angelo Pelegrini (a decade before Julia Child) was right in his praises: dandelion greens in season can be glorious. If you like spinach, you’ll understand.
We’ve been delighting on them both as cold salads and as quickly blanched greens, especially with hard-boiled eggs and/or thick, crisp bacon on top. A fried egg works nicely, too, with its runny yolk. Top your dish with grated cheese if you want. Salt and pepper to taste. Can anything be simpler?
And that’s as close as you’re going to get to a recipe on this blog. I’ll let others point to the fancier variations. For that matter, they can even match it with the right wine … or beer.