dandelion salad with shrimp and bacon

dandelion salad with shrimp and bacon

 

Have you tried dandelions yet?

So my sweet aging Italian neighbor talks tirelessly about how she was soooo poor growing up in South Philly that  she and her sister collected dandelion greens from the backyard to be served up for dinner.

In South Philly.

These things were probably peeking out from a slab of concrete, and this resourceful family, among many other families, made the best of what they had and ate them.

Free salad and no toxic weed chemicals on the lawn!! I’m in!

Ok, so full disclosure, I bought these at the market. It’s winter here in the northeast. Not even a dandelion could stand this kind of cold. But if you are an experienced-dandelion picker, I would love to hear your stories.

Dandelion salad with shrimp and bacon

I eat this salad as is, but could also be served over linguine (similar to scampi) for a heartier meal.

When picking dandelions at the store or off the curb; look for small, tender leaves. The bigger they are, the more bitter they will be. If you do wind up with bitter leaves, just blanch them in a pot of boiling water.

Ingredients

4-6 cups of dandelion greens, washed thoroughly

1 pound medium – large shrimp, cooked

4 slices good quality bacon

Directions

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drop the dandelion greens into the pan of bacon drippings and toss gently. Remove from pan and crumble the bacon on the greens and top with shrimp.

For bitter greens: Boil a pot of water. Drop the dandelions into the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Remove the greens from the water and place directly into the pan of bacon drippings. Follow recipe as above.

 

clementine vinaigrette and upcycling the crates

clementine vinagrette 3 (1 of 1)

Clementine peeling is an Olympic sport in my house. I don’t like to brag, but I can peel 10, maybe 12 clementines in 4 minutes flat. And the kids eat them just as fast as I can peel them, leaving me lucky if I manage to nab a few slices for myself. So I stashed a few away to make this sweet-savory clementine vinaigrette. It is light and clean and can dress a simple harvest salad or grace the top of a grilled fish fillet.

clementine vinagrette 2 (1 of 1)

 

If you are an avid clementine consumer, I’m sure you have a secret stash of clementine crates piling up in a closet somewhere. I painted mine with a distresses style and organized all my doo-dads throughout the house. Here’s a painting kit, complete with a glass water jar, smock, paints, and brushes.

clementine crate 2 (1 of 1)

clementine crate (1 of 1)

Clementine Vinaigrette

2 clementines, peeled

2 tsp. finely diced shallot

1 tsp. honey or simple syrup

1 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Juice the clementines in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk in the diced shallots and honey. Slowly stream in the olive oil and continue whisking. Salt and pepper to taste.

How to Grow Sprouts at Home

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-sprout-

  1. To begin to grow; shoot forth, as a plant from a seed
  2. To develop and grow

I can’t think of anything better to do on the first day of a new year than to grow sprouts!!

Sprouts have a unique crunchy bite and crisp grassy flavor that blends effortlessly on this Veggie Bagel layered with  red peppers, tomatoes and rich avocado slices and hummus.

Sprouting Seeds at Home:

Start with about 1/8 cup of alfalfa or red clover seeds …

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A mason jar with metal rings and cheese cloth or fine wire mesh…

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Fill the jar with water at least ¾ full and soak the seeds overnight for at least 4 hours.

Turn the jar over to drain out the water. Rinse and drain again. This step is perfect for little ones who love to dump water.

Water the seeds everyday for 4 days.

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You will begin to see little white shoots…

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The best part about growing sprouts is when you wake up on the third morning and they have a tiny green bud.

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They need at least one more day to fully develop and shed their brown husks.

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Once the sprouts are ready, rinse them thoroughly to remove the brown husks.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.