I got a new cookbook! Well technically an e-book. . . But still! Aren't cookbooks exciting? And this one seems like it'll be a real winner. It's The Farm by Ian Knauer, and it's full of delicious-looking recipes, beautiful pictures, and lots of stories from life on his family's farm. For my inaugural recipe, I chose this dandelion greens salad. This was my first attempt at foraging for my food, and I did feel a little silly crouching in the parking strip picking young dandelion leaves. I wondered what people driving by thought of me. But after I made and consumed this salad, I don't care anymore.
Dandelion greens are bitter, but in the book Knauer specifically recommends picking very young leaves, from plants that haven't flowered yet. Also, the dressing perfectly complements the bitterness with all the fatty bacon goodness and sugar. Altogether a mix of intense flavors, cheap, easy to make; and eating a bowlful of weeds makes you feel like a total badass.
The recipe in the book is for 4-6 servings, and since it was only me I halved it, but still had to give one quarter of it to the dogs! They liked it too. Here's how I made it.
2 slices bacon, chopped
Half a shallot, finely chopped
1 small egg
1/6 C water
1 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 T sugar
A medium-size colander's worth of young dandelion greens
Cook the bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to drain on paper towels, reserving the fat in the skillet.
Turn heat to low, add the shallot, and cook until soft, 4 to 6 minutes.
Whisk together the egg, vinegar, and water. Add the sugar and 1/4 t salt to the skillet, stir, and then add the egg mixture. Whisk constantly to avoid curdling. When the dressing has thickened, pour over the greens and stir to coat. The greens will get a little wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.