If you have roots in the South, you probably eat your black eye peas and greens for good luck every New Years Day… I know I do. A friend of mine in Virginia pretty much eats them all the time and he’s a pretty lucky guy so I am going to get in a good luck booster shot for the Fourth of July!
I know when I think about greens, it is generally braised collards, which I love, but not for a weekend cookout when there isn’t much in the way to keep them hot. Recently I worked on a show where one of the featured recipes was a dandelion greens salad – it was a very simple and straight forward side salad, but I was hooked. I admit, I have never tried dandelion greens before because, like most people, the first thing that comes to mind is that weed that you’re constantly pulling out of your garden. Although they are related, they are not exactly the same. That weed – greens, flower, and roots – is just as edible, the taste is somewhat more minerally.
The dandelion greens you get in the store have a peppery flavor similar to arugula or rocket. What I really love about them, in addition to the deliciously bitter taste (not too strong), is the texture. Dandelion greens are tender yet toothsome. However, the best part is that they don’t really wilt or breakdown after being dressed. As a matter of fact as I write this post, I am eating some of the salad that I made yesterday and the greens look exactly the same as when I made them. Much like kale salads, I think they are better after they sit awhile.
The sweet creamy black eye peas are a fantastic compliment to the peppery flavor of the greens. The dressing is simple red wine vinegar and oil, though lemon juice would be delicious as well. Get you mid-year booster shot with this salad!
- 1½ cups seeded and chopped tomato
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
- ½ medium red onion, chopped
- 2 medium red bell pepper, charred on the grill , peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups torn young dandelion greens (stems removed)
- Toss to combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
- Remove from refrigerator let come to room temperature. Add torn dandelion greens and toss; taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper before serving.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!