Easy Dandelion Greens with Garlic Recipe is slightly bitter and just delicious! A quick Italian side dish recipe that is part of the Mediterranean diet. Perfect paired with grilled steak, chicken, shrimp, or on their own with crusty bread!
- Why you'll love this dandelion greens recipe:
- Ingredients in easy dandelions recipe:
- How to cook dandelion greens Italian style:
- Expert tips to make the best sautéed dandelion greens:
- What to serve with the sautéed Italian dandelion greens?
- Storing and Freezing
- Some other delicious Italian side dish recipes to enjoy:
- Easy Dandelion Greens with Garlic Recipe
Why you'll love this dandelion greens recipe:
- Quick and Easy: Not a lot of time, no worries...this is ready in just 15 minutes!
- Mediterranean Delight: If you're looking for a new Mediterranean Diet recipe, this should be added to your repertoire!
- Versatile Pairing: Whether served alongside grilled steak, chicken, or shrimp, or savored on its own with a slice of crusty bread, this dish complements a variety of main courses.
- Refreshing Citrus Twist: A squeeze of lemon juice at the end makes the greens refreshing and goes so nicely with the garlic flavor.
If you're searching for a different side dish than spinach or broccoli, you have got to try these dandelion greens! This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, paleo & Whole30 compliant!
Dandelion greens are found in every region of Italy. I remember summers in Sicily eating pasta con la cicoria (pasta with dandelion greens). Cicoria selvatica (wild dandelion greens) would just be growing everywhere. Taking a bite of these bitter greens takes me back to my zia's tables in Sicily.
My aunts would pick them from their gardens and also make cicoria ripassata in padella (which is what this recipe is here that I'm sharing today).
Summers with my Calabrian mother-in-law would mean even more cicorie. My suocera overcooks hers and sometimes makes them with beans and potatoes. The version I'm sharing here isn't cooked to disintegration. But go ahead, and cook longer than what I recommend. If you want your greens more on the mushy side, you could cook them a few minutes longer, they'll still be delightful!
Just keep in mind that dandelion greens reduce to about ⅓ of the volume when they cook up. So if you're making this as a side dish for for people, I suggest you double the recipe. You may be surprised that even your kids will love them and you'll need extra! They do make delicious leftovers. You could even eat them cold out of the fridge!
Ingredients in easy dandelions recipe:
- Dandelion greens: These vibrant greens provide a slightly bitter taste that balances well with other flavors in this recipe.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: Choose the best quality olive oil. I use a Sicilian extra-virgin olive oil. I use it to cook every thing! The extra-virgin olive oil adds a rich and smooth texture and flavor to the dish.
- Garlic cloves: The aromatic garlic infuses the greens with incredible flavor.
- Red hot pepper flakes (optional): For those who enjoy a bit of heat, the red hot pepper flakes add a spicy kick.
- Sea salt: The sea salt enhances the natural flavors and helps to season the dish.
- Lemon: The tangy lemon juice adds a refreshing brightness to the greens.
How to cook dandelion greens Italian style:
Full printable recipe is below, but this is the summary.
Just like cooking broccoli rabe, the dandelion greens are bitter and need to be boiled first before sautéing.
- Prep the greens: Cut off the stems and then cut into sections.
- Wash greens: Wash them very well and drain.
- Boil water in saucepan: Add greens to boiling salted water and cook for 8-10 minutes.
- Drain: Drain the greens and remove excess water.
- Heat oil: Add the olive oil to your pan and heat.
- Garlic: As soon as oil heats, add the garlic and red pepper flakes (if you're using), and cook until begins to soften.
- Sautée the dandelion greens: Add the greens to the garlic, stirring to combine.
- Cook: Cook the greens until tender to the bite.
- Serve: Plate up the greens and drizzle on olive oil and lemon juice (if you like).
Expert tips to make the best sautéed dandelion greens:
- Make it cheesy: To add some extra zest, sprinkle some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino over the cooked greens before serving.
- Make it richer: For a touch of richness, you can also add a pat of butter to the sauté pan along with the olive oil.
- Make it crunchy: For added texture and flavor incorporate some chopped pine nuts or almonds.
- Make extra: This recipe can be easily doubled or halved depending on the number of servings needed. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- If you prefer a spicier kick, increase the amount of red hot pepper flakes or add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Add a handful of cherry tomatoes for a burst of sweetness.
- Enhance the dish with crumbled feta cheese or grated Parmesan for added richness.
- Experiment with different aromatics like sautéed onions or shallots.
- Replace olive oil with coconut oil or butter for a different flavor profile.
- Adjust the heat level by adding more or less red hot pepper flakes according to your preference.
- Finish off with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds for added texture.
What to serve with the sautéed Italian dandelion greens?
- Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce >> One of my family's favorite ways to enjoy these greens. A simple plate of spaghetti and a side of these tasty greens.
- Easy Italian Garlic Rosemary Steak>> So easy to make and so flavorful!
- Grilled Chicken Cutlets with a Cherry Tomato Panzanella >> A really great weeknight meal and just delicious!
- Healthy Chicken Patties >> Really easy to make chicken patties. Try them and I'll promise you'll be making these all the time!
- Garlic Rosmeary Whole30 Meatballs >> I love these meatballs. My kids love these meatballs! A side of the greens go perfectly with this recipe!
- Easy Ligurian Focaccia Bread with Rosemary >> Oh, this bread is so wonderful! I make it once a week and it goes magically with these greens.
Storing and Freezing
Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They are delicious even cold right out of the fridge. I do not recommend freezing.
Yes, the dandelion leaves are completely safe to eat. They have a bitter taste and are also very nutritious.
Yes, they are healthy leaf that is high in calcium, iron and vitamin K.
Yes, it is safe to eat dandelion greens raw.
You can eat all the parts of the dandelion, except for the stems. You can even eat their bright-yellow blossoms.
Since they can be found grown wild in so many places, just keep in mind to avoid eating dandelions that are sprayed with fertilizer or any other toxic sprays.
More mature dandelion greens bitter. You may compare it to the bitterness in arugula. The younger dandelion leaves are much less bitter.
Yes, you definitely can. It does retain some of the vitamins and minerals from the dandelion leaves. You could use the water in soup broth, add it to a smoothie, or even just drink it.
Some other delicious Italian side dish recipes to enjoy:
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Easy Dandelion Greens with Garlic Recipe
- 1 saute pan
- 1 collander
- 1 pound of dandelion greens
- 2 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon of red hot pepper flakes optional
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- Juice from half a lemon
- Prep the dandelion greens: Start by trimming about ½ inch off the stems of the dandelion greens. Cut into 3 inch sections, leaving the tops a bit longer.
- Wash the greens: Thoroughly wash the dandelion greens in cold water and drain them.
- Boil water in a saucepan: In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil (I use 1 teaspoon of salt). Add the greens and cook them uncovered for approximately 8-10 minutes. This will help reduce the bitterness and soften the greens.
- Drain: Once cooked, drain the greens well in a collander. Let them cool a bit and gently squeeze out any excess water.
- Heat oil: Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add in garlic: When the olive oil begins to shimmer, add the sliced garlic and red hot pepper flakes (if using). Once the garlic becomes aromatic, add the dandelion greens to the pan. Don't let the garlic brown as they'll get bitter.
- Add in the dandelion greens: Toss the dandelion greens in the olive oil, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Cook until tender: Cook the greens until they reach a tender consistency (approximately 5 minutes). They already are cooked from boiling, so shouldn't take too long to get them more tender in the pan. If you like them mushy, you could cook them even longer.
- Serve: Check the stems of the dandelion greens, and when they are tender to the bite, transfer them to a plate. Check the seasoning, and add more salt, to your taste, if you like. Drizzle them with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional).
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.