Daisy and dandelion greens each have strong flavors, one sweet and unusual, the other tending toward bitter. This recipe balances those flavors with each other in addition to a tart, spicy antipasto. Since I have a lot of yucca flower antipasto on hand–made earlier this year by marinating the petals of Yucca glauca in vinegar and lemon juice, crushed chiles, and olive oil–I use that, but other zingy, oil-based antipastos can substitute if you don’t have yucca, or you can toss the greens with oil, vinegar, and chile flakes and leave out the antipasto altogether.
If you do have yucca in bloom, see Butter’s recipe for yucca antipasto at Hunger & Thirst, which forms a nice basis for this one.
In my experience, Shasta daisy greens are good throughout the growing season. For dandelion greens, aim for fresh new growth, shade-grown leaves, leaves from plants that have not yet flowered, or late-season greens that have already been through a frost. Expect the dandelion leaves to be bitter, but look for ones that are not too tough. Some people cut out the midribs in that case, though I never have. Where I live in high country Colorado, the overall growing season is short, and I can usually find nice dandelion greens throughout the course of it. I cannot speak for the quality of dandelion greens in other regions; you will have to experiment.
- 1.5 cups rough-chopped Shasta daisy greens
- 1.5 cups rough-chopped dandelion greens
- 1/4 cup yucca (or other) antipasto including splashes of oil and liquid from the jar
- 3 Tbsp chopped walnuts
- Wash greens. To get them extra clean, soak for 10 minutes in water with a splash of vinegar. Drain, dry, and chop rough.
- Toss with antipasto and walnuts. Squeeze in lemon juice for added tartness to taste.
- Bake for 10 minutes in a 350-degree (F) oven to wilt the greens, stirring once around 5 minutes. Serves 2.
- A Tale of Four Daisies – Featuring Shasta daisies, ox-eye daisies, chamomile or “crazy” daisies, and pineapple weed.
This recipe was originally published in the August 2015 Wild Edible Notebook. The Notebook is currently on hiatus. Stay apprised of what’s on the horizon by joining the email list at page bottom. Thanks!