01 June 2009

A Perfect Meal: Dandelion Greens, Bacon, and Trout

The French say, "That which grows together goes together." I'm not sure where the bacon fits in, but Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) -- which grows along brooks -- are excellent together.

Grandma Beryl insisted that certain things must be eaten while in season in order for the world to continue its circle 'round the sun. Each spring, the family must eat a mess (i.e. enough to provide everyone in the family a large serving) of things such as leeks (the wild ramps of the Alleghenies; Alium tricoccum), rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum; preferably with strawberries in a pie!), and of course dandelions. If you had a mess of trout to go with those dandelions (or leeks), so much the better!

Recipe

Gather dandelion greens from a pasture or yard where no herbicides are used. Dandelions are at the ideal table stage when they are beginning to form flower buds. Gather one to two quarts of loosely packed greens per serving. Clean and wash, removing the root, all soil, bugs, and worms (ask Mrs ER why she no longer eats dandelion greens!).

In a cast iron pan, place thick-sliced bacon in a single layer to cover the pan's bottom. Add dandelion greens (heap them up--they wilt to a much smaller volume), cover, and cook at medium low:

As dandelion greens begin to wilt, pull to one side and turn bacon. Resume cooking until greens are wilted and tender:

Remove from pan, place on a paper towel with a newspaper underneath to absorb grease, and (if you have them) cook your trout:

Serve with bread & butter, and a good local microbrew.

OK, Gram (or Mrs ER!), I'm ready for that rhubarb pie!

9 comments:

hip chick said...

I'm totaly on to the trout and the bacon...I can definitly do the local brew and the rhubarb pie, with ice cream please. The dandilions...not for me thank you. Yuck!

The Hunter's Wife said...

I know a lot of people that eat dandelions but I've never tried them and since you said to ask Mrs. ER I'm guessing it has to do with eating a worm.

Eww.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Sounds good, EC. I'm sure the dandelions are similar to other greens --which I love. I love turnip greens, kale greens, spinach, and mustard greens. They are good cooked with bacon. YUM!!!! AND---give me some cornbread to go with my greens.

I love rhubarb.. My mother used to make a mean Rhubarb Pie. YUM!!!
Betsy

Janie said...

I would have never thought of cooking up the dandelions, but your batch looks delish.

~Sheepheads said...

My past neighbor, Dr. Cook, used to make Dandilion wine. The only thing missing in your dish are ramps! I'm starting to get a sense of your past Allegheny trekking.

EcoRover said...

Well, HC, some things ya just gotta try...

Yep, THW, I missed one and as Yogi might have said, "It's over when it's over."

Betsy frTenne, I should have thought of cornbread. Have some Mexican and SW friends, and I sure enjoy cornbread with their meals--especially when it has little chillies baked into it.

Gives me an incentive to weed the yard, Janie!

Gram made wine with 'em too, Sheepsheads--had to be in blossom, as I recall. I should make more of an effort to get down with homemade wine.

Cutthroat Stalker (Scott C) said...

ER,

"Dandelion Wine," by Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite books ever.

I was going to comment yesterday, but the drool ruined my keyboard--had to let it dry out overnight.

I've had dandelion greens in salads, but not cooked. Have you combined watercress and dandelion greens?

-scott c

Max said...

I fully agree with your Grandma Beryl's thoughts on seasonal eating, and my grandmother would envy your fried brookies.

Kristine Shreve said...

That actually sounds good. I could go for some trout and dandelion greens.