Edible Weeds: Dandelion Salad with Bacon

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Once your lawn is free from harmful chemicals for at least a year–be sure your neighbors don’t spray over the fence!–you can do some beneficial weed eating. With your taste buds, that is. It’s not as weird as you might think. Dandelions, purslane, lamb’s quarters, and other weeds are not only edible, they’re delicious.

Henry’s Farm in central Illinois cultivates organic weed-eats and harvests wild ones.

Here’s a serving suggestion sure to please the palate:

Dandelion Salad with Bacon

• 3/4 pound dandelion leaves (about 6 cups)
• 2 tablespoons vinaigrette
• Salt and pepper
• Hint of sugar to taste
• 4 ounces smoked bacon (or olive oil, for vegetarians*)
• 1 slice French or Italian bread, cubed
• 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
• 1 hard-boiled egg, crumbled

Tear the greens into pieces and put into a warmed salad bowl with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sugar.

Fry bacon until half-cooked. Add bread cubes and fry until golden and the bacon is done. Tip contents of the pan (fat and all if you want to be completely French about it) onto the greens. (*Option: instead of bacon, use olive oil to brown croutons, then pour over greens.) Toss quickly.

Pour the vinegar into the pan and heat rapidly. When it’s bubbling fiercely, pour onto the greens and toss. Serve immediately with egg crumbles on top.

Recipe courtesy of Terra Brockman, Henry’s Farm

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