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They say “what grows together goes together,” and dandelion greens and strawberries are delicious proof that it’s true. This savory dandelion salad amps up that perfect pairing with a warm balsamic vinaigrette and slow-cooked red onions. Don’t miss it.
Why we love this recipe
Eating seasonally can be both easy and special, and this recipe ticks both of those boxes. This salad:
- Is the perfect flavor combination of bitter greens, sweet strawberries, savory red onions, and earthy balsamic
- Has a warm vinaigrette that’s SO easy but feels casually next-level
- Packs a serious nutrient punch
- Is equally great for big, leafy lunch or a dinner party
Plus, if you buy your ingredients at the farmers’ market, nab them from your CSA, or hey, pick them from your pesticide-free lawn, it’s super-affordable.
What you’ll need
Dandelion salad is one of those recipes where just a few ingredients come together to make something really special.
- Dandelion greens can have a fairly assertive bitter flavor, but their delicate shape and texture keep them very salad-friendly.
- Even when you buy dandelion in the supermarket, it tends to need an extra-good wash. Submerge and agitate the leaves in several changes of water, then dry thoroughly.
- Cut the red onion from root to tip so the slices will hold up to long cooking. You can nerd out about this in our post about caramelized onions if you like.
- You don’t need a fancy balsamic vinegar. A less-expensive bottle will do.
How to make dandelion greens salad
The dressing for this dandelion greens salad comes together right in the pan. Here’s what you’ll do.
- Slow-cook the onions in some olive oil to bring out their natural sweetness.
- Macerate the strawberries in a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar while the onions cook.
- For the last few minutes of cooking, stir in the rest of the balsamic. Off the heat, stir in a bit of Dijon mustard. Voila, your dressing is made!
- Toss it all together, and you’re ready to eat.
Expert tips and FAQs
You can prep all the elements several hours in advance. Leave the greens, macerated strawberries, and onions (with dressing) separate and toss just before you’re ready to serve.
As with most leafy salads, this one is best eaten shortly after it’s made. You can store any leftovers tightly sealed in the fridge for about 24 hours, but the greens will wilt a bit.
This recipe doesn’t make a huge amount (and — you know — is highly craveable!), so with any luck you won’t have too many leftovers.
Dandelion greens pack a nutritional punch. They’re a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, and they also contain vitamin E, folate, and other B vitamins.
Eating them as a whole food (rather than taking supplements or turning them into tea) is an especially good way to get your leafy greens.
A little bit of balsamic vinegar works wonders to tame the bitterness of dandelion greens and other bitter greens. The combination of flavors in this dandelion salad makes the bitterness of dandelion delightful rather than overwhelming.
Growing up in suburban New Jersey, I thought of dandelions as free entertainment to be called upon when I’d used up all the blowing bubbles from the latest birthday party goodie bag.
My parents thought of them as a lawn-yellowing nuisance and a prime target for a quick spritz of Roundup.
We didn’t agree on much where dandelions were concerned, but we all knew one thing for sure. Dandelions were not a food.
Turns out, we were wrong. 🙂 You can definitely eat dandelion greens. They’re really good.
How to serve dandelion greens salad
This recipe makes a nice first course before just about any late spring // early summer dinner. Or make it a whole meal on its own:
- Add some chickpeas, cooked shrimp, or grilled or roasted chicken (here’s how to roast a chicken)
- And maybe some bacon
More favorite salads with interesting greens
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick from tip to root
- 10 ripe strawberries, sliced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
- 1 bunch dandelion greens (about 8 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a 12-inch nonstick frying pan. Add the sliced onions along with a good pinch of salt.
- Cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft, lightly brown, and reduced to about 1/3 of their raw volume. You may need to reduce the heat gradually as the onions shrink. This process will take about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the strawberry slices with 1 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar.
- Wash the dandelion greens in several changes of water and dry thoroughly. Cut into bite-sized pieces if you like.
- When the onions are nearly done, add the remaining 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar to the pan and continue cooking until it has thickened to coat the onions, a minute or two.
- Remove the onions from the heat and stir in the Dijon mustard.
- In a salad bowl, combine the greens, onions and strawberries with all their juices, scraping down the onion pan with a rubber spatula to incorporate all the oil and vinegar into the salad.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.
- After peeling and halving the onions from root to tip, slice them from root to tip as well. Cutting this way will make them hold their shape while cooking for a long time, rather than disintegrating.
- Dandelion greens tend to be sandy when you buy them. Wash them very well in several changes of water, then dry well.
- Tossing the strawberries with a touch of balsamic vinegar draws out their strawberry flavor.
- You can make all the elements of this salad a few hours before you want to serve it. Just wait until right before serving to toss everything together. You can rewarm the onions and dressing if you like.
- This salad is best eaten right away, but you can store any leftovers tightly sealed in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 7.8gCarbohydrates: 13.9gFiber: 4gProtein: 2.8g