I’m not sure if you were aware that a few weeks back (May 17) was Food Revolution Day – an extension of chef (and one of my culinary crushes) Jamie Oliver’s movement to have us all take the time to eat better and eat together. We celebrated at my office with a home-made pot luck.
I’ve been fortunate to have been raised in a family where food is important. My mom (Baba) is nurturer not just because of her heart and soul, but also because of her overwhelming innate desire to feed us.
You see, for her, food is not just fuel, it is love, tradition and education around the table.
Baba is someone who can make something out of nothing. Friends drop by and miraculously a feast appears within an hour. And, it’s always made with good ingredients and care.
So it’s not surprising that on a recent weekend in the country, our food wizard, while walking in the woods was inspired to make an Old Country delicacy. She emerged from the walking trail with an armful of tender dandelion shoots that had been growing in the dappled light.
Unlike some of the dandelion greens you can find in the supermarket, these first-crop-of-spring sprigs are light and delicate in flavour. They make a beautiful warm salad that Baba couldn’t wait to serve us.
Baba’s Dandelion Salad
- Start off by sautéing some sliced bacon (we didn’t have any on hand so we used prosciutto instead) in a bit of olive oil
- Add in a good portion of finely sliced onions of any sort (we used purple)
- Pour in a shot of some good balsamic vinegar (or whatever you have on hand)
- Once this has all softened, add in a rinsed can of beans (red kidney beans are best, but chick peas, navy beans are fine)
- Season with salt and pepper
- Turn all of this goodness into a bowl of washed and trimmed dandelion shoots
- Toss and serve