Saturday, April 17, 2010

Asheville dandelion soup - as local as you can get

An Italian friend of mine and I were discussing the meals of our youth (we are both American-Italians) when she mentioned a dish I'd never had. Dandelion soup. I grew up eating lots of dandelion but it was generally sauteed in garlic and olive oil and then served as such. The simple sauteed dish remains my very favorite vegetable dish. We've been growing domesticated dandelion for a couple of years since I love it so much and could eat it daily.

In any case dandelion soup caught my attention. We'd never eaten it. My friend told me it was Sicilian. I am not of Sicilian descent. In any case she told me it was the same sauteed version I make but then it's thrown into chicken stock with egg and parmeggiano cheese.

Our garden is not yet planted. But if you're blessed, as we are, with natural, local Asheville dandelion, wild in the backyard...otherwise known as weeds...then you just might have a meal waiting for you.

My husband picked a big bag of it. It wilts quite a bit once it's cooked so I don't know how to say how much I used, but I can assure you to use more than you think you need.

So this is what I did to make it. I am not assuming this is authentic at all. I only had the ingredients to go by and then I did my own thing.

  • 64 oz chicken stock

  • 5 eggs beaten

  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese

  • 1/2 a grocery bag half full of packed dandelion (how's that for a measurement?)

  • 5 cloves of chopped garlic

  • salt to taste

  • red chili flakes to taste

  • olive oil for sauteeing

I sauteed the garlic for a few minutes and then tossed in the dandelion. Sauteed until completely wilted.

Heat chicken stock to boiling. On a simmer start stirring the stock in a steady fashion while slowly pouring the egg in a steady stream. Stirring the stock during this process is important so that the egg cooks the right way. This part is much like my Egg Drop Soup recipe here.

Following the egg, put in the dandelion and then the cheese. Salt to taste along with the red pepper flakes.

Original post at Cucina Naturale.


Edgy Mama said...

This makes me so happy. I was just today looking at all the natural dandelions sprouting in my yard and wondering what to do with them. Can't wait to try this. Thanks!

monicajane said...

yay! I'm so excited to hear from someone!

I'm hoping I can harvest our yard one more time. Please let me know how it turns out.

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Elizabeth said...

Can you really do this?!? I want to but I'm kind of scared. I think this is the residual thinking from when you're a kid and your parents freak you out about eating weeds/flowers/anything strange. That picture really does look delicious...

monicajane said...

yes you can do's can buy domesticated versions in the store if you don't want to pick nature's bounty!

Earth Fare and Greenlife both have dandelion greens pretty much all year...

if you have it in your yard though it would be a shame to waste.

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Alan said...

i am going to pick dandelions tomorrow and make this wonderful soup. Thank you for the information. The dandelions this season look so beautiful. :)

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