Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Salad with Arugula, Dandelion Greens and Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Here is another salad celebrating the bitter greens that are abundant in our garden right now.  Italian dandelion greens are a particularly remarkable vegetable; the more we harvest, the more the plants produce.  The leaves range from small and delicate to over eighteen inches long.  Although the seeds were started last September, the plants are still full and healthy, promising many more months of productivity.  The arugula, on the other hand, is starting to sprout lots of little white flowers, a lovely site in the garden but also a sign that these plants will need to be replaced soon with new arugula for the spring and summer.   With its bitter flavor and popularity in Italian food, we have often wondered if arugula, like dandelion greens, is in the chicory family.  We have not found any mention of a connection, but if you have any information in this regard, please share it with us. 

Arugula and dandelion greens are both bitter, but their flavors are quite distinct.  Anyone who has eaten arugula freshly picked from the garden will not confuse its taste with anything else, while the dandelion greens offer a more subtle kick.  Nevertheless, they combine surprisingly well in a salad.  Blood oranges are used here in both the dressing and the salad itself to both temper and enhance the flavors of these greens.  Sauteed porcini mushrooms and parmesan cheese are added at the last minute to add a creamy finish and depth to the salad.  The colors are also spectacular here -- red-ribbed greens, deep orange fruit, and creamy shaved parmesan cheese -- making this the perfect choice if you're looking for a quick salad that is sure to impress.
Salad with Arugula, Dandelion Greens and Blood Oranges
makes two meal-sized portions or 4 to 6 side dishes

Ingredients

Blood Orange Vinaigrette Dressing

1/2            cup          blood orange juice (from about 4 oranges)
1               Tbs          shallots, finely chopped (about 2)
1               tsp           Dijon mustard
1               tsp           sugar
1               Tbs          sherry vinegar
1               cup          olive oil
1/4            tsp           sea salt
1/4            tsp           black pepper

Salad

2               Tbs          olive oil
4               oz             king porcini mushroom, thinly sliced
1/4             tsp           red pepper flakes
2                cups         arugula
1                cup          dandelion greens
1/4             cup          red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 onion)
1                                blood orange, peeled and segmented
                                  parmesan cheese thinly sliced
                                  sea salt and black pepper to taste

Procedure

Dressing
  1. Whisk together all ingredients except olive oil.  When well-combined, slowly whisk in olive oil in a steady stream.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Salad
  1. Saute porcini and red pepper flakes in olive oil with salt and black pepper to taste over medium-high until tender.  Remove from heat.
  2. Combine greens, onion and orange.  Toss with dressing to coat.  Divide onto 2 plates, then top with porcini mushrooms and parmesan shavings.
If you like this salad, try our Salad of Bitter Italian Greens, Strawberries and Parmesan
You may also like our Dandelion Green and Goat Cheese Empanadas

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    11 comments:

    1. This sounds wonderful. It's difficult to describe a salad well, to explain how the parts fit together. You did a nice job here--thanks for the inspiration.

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    2. I've been working on a holistic nutrition certification and we are always talking about the health benefits of dandelion greens. Thanks for the recipe! I'll have to grow some in my garden this year.

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    3. We found a lot of dandelion in our yard this weekend while spring cleaning up and I was snacking all day. This is a perfect salad for our "Greens and Beans" Eat To Live diet.

      Thank you so much!

      Bon appetite!
      CCR
      =:~)

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    4. I have a "dandelion" yard right now! I don't think I could bear placing a seed for this lovely leaf into a container for fear my house might turn into a dandelion, too! I learned something today from you--or had an a-ha moment. I had no idea that the arugula plant, once flowered, meant it was time to start a new crop! I kept my arugula up all year last summer because I loved the white flowers! Duh! Okay, so now I know! BTW, I love this blog!

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    5. Sounds excellent with the Blood Orange Vinaigrette Dressing!

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    6. This looks wonderful.Love the combo if arugula and orange. I've never put dandelion greens in a salad, maybe it's time I started.

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    7. I love this dressing. You always are so original, I would never think to add orange juice to my dressing.

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    8. Beautiful, fresh and full of flavor - this is another winner! I love red dandelion...

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    9. I want to get hold of dandelion greens. I still don't know what they taste like. This salad is colorful and refreshing.

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    10. This sounds really delicious!

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    11. I allready know blood orange goes so well with rucola & dandelion greens& this salad is no different!!

      Lovely presentation too!

      This would be lovely enjoyed with a piece of grilled fish!

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