Also known as “Italian dandelion” and “pissenlit rouge”, red dandelion is a slightly bitter leafy green in the chicory family. It does grow on the stem of a plant similar to the ubiquitous yellow-flowered weed. The distinguishing characteristic of the plant is its coarsely toothed edible leaf which explains its name. “Dandelion” is a cognate of the French “dent de lion”, the Italian “dente di leone” and the same phrase in other languages, all meaning “lion’s tooth”. Dandelion greens are cleansing for the liver and rich in Vitamins A, C and K and calcium, iron and potassium. Highly recommended.
About 20 red dandelion leaves
2 pink radishes
1 teaspoon umeboshi plum vinegar
1 clementine or Satsuma mandarin orange
a few blueberries (optional)
Process Wash the radishes and dandelion greens well. Place the greens in a salad spinner and spin to dry.
Set aside. Remove the ends from the radish and then slice it horizontally into paper-thin rounds.
Halve some of the rounds and set aside.
Peel and section the orange and set aside. If you are using blueberries, immerse them in water to wash and set aside. Arrange the salad in small individual bowls. “Wrap” the dandelion greens around the sides of the bowl.
Lay the smaller leaves on the bottom of the bowl, creating a nest.
Place the radish rounds and half moons in the center of the nest, making a pinwheel shape.
Sprinkle a half teaspoon of ume plum vinegar on each salad. Place the orange sections on top of the radishes, echoing the pinwheel pattern.
If desired, place a blueberry in the center.
©Nancy Wolfson-Moche 2014