Veggie Experiment #3: Dandelion Greens {And a Yummy Pizza!}

Have you eaten these before???

I hadn’t, until the other day…

But, spurred on by Marisa, the Food Sensitive Foodie, {My partner in crime in the Sardine Challenge} to a “Bitter Greens Challenge”, I decided why not eat some weeds {dandelion greens}?

Turns out that these particular bitter greens tasted…

Well…

Bitter!!!

BUT

Pair them with sweet caramelized onions, a little aromatic garlic and EVOO, creamy Italian cheese, sweet and crunchy pine nuts, and, should you desire, spicy turkey sausage all on top of a pizza crust…

You kind of forget ALL about the bitterness.

I promise!!!

And, if you’re wondering why you should go to all this trouble to eat weeds or other bitter greens, I’ll give you 5 good reasons, although there are really so many more…

Top 5 Reasons to Eat Weeds, Bitter Greens, and other Leafy Greens

  1. Leafy greens as a whole, bitter or not, are typically a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K {Check with your physician or dietitian if you are on blood thinners before consuming large amount of veggies containing Vitamin K as they may interfere with your medication}, and folic acid.
  2. Green leafies are a vegan source of both calcium and iron.
  3. Some bitter greens, such as collard greens, contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates that can help activate detoxification enzymes and regulate their activity.
  4. Dark leafy greens such as kale and turnip greens, are an excellent source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.  These carotenoids are being studied for their potential role in protection against both cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
  5. Because I told you so :-)

Have I convinced you to give them a try???

If so, here’s a DELICIOUS recipe for dandelion greens pizza that will ease you in to your bitter greens adventure…

Dandelion Greens Pizza {Regular or Gluten-Free}

  • Two 8-9 inch homemade or store bought pizza crusts of choice {I used 2 Udi’s gluten-free pizza crusts}
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 4 cups chopped dandelion greens {remove tough bottom parts of stems}
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped or sliced
  • 8 ounces spicy turkey sausage {omit for vegetarian version}
  • 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Red pepper flakes to taste, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees {Or heat according to pizza crust instructions. If using homemade pizza dough, pre-bake per instructions.} In  large pan heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and sautee onions until soft and brown.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add 1 more tablespoon olive oil to pan plus minced garlic and dandelion greens.  Sautee until wilted and no longer tough.  Remove and set aside. Remove casing from turkey sausage {if adding} and brown in pan.  Spread a little olive oil on top of each crust then top with 1/2 cup of grated cheese on each.  Divide sausage {if using}, caramelized onions, and dandelion greens in half and place on top of each pizza.  Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes {or per pizza crust instructions},then top each pizza with 1 tablespoon pine nuts and bake an additional 3-5 minutes, or until done.  Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top if desired.

Enjoy!

As I stated above, this pizza really is delicious and the sweet onions/pine nuts and spicy sausage/red pepper flakes conceal any bitterness of the dandelion greens.  I think it would be equally delicious without the turkey sausage as well-just make sure you use lots of caramelized onions and red pepper flakes!

Before I gave my husband and kids a slice of pizza to try, I had them each take a bite of raw dandelions.

As I expected, they took one bite and didn’t ask for more.

BUT, they all gave the dandelion pizza a thumbs up!

I hope you give it a try!

In the mean time I have more bitter greens to experiment with, such as collard greens

And I also owe a big thank you to some Twitter and Facebook friends for giving me ideas on how to prepare them…

Have you ever eaten dandelion greens before?  If so, were they from a store or did you pick them from your garden? Are you a bitter greens fan?  If so, what are your favorites?  How do you like to prepare them?

I would LOVE to hear from you!  Please click here to leave a comment or ask a question.  And, if you enjoyed the post, please share it below.  Oh, and to make sure you don’t miss any Spicy food, fun, and adventure, please submit your e-mail address below to be notified on my new posts!


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Comments

  1. That pizza looks insanely good. Just saying. Mmmm!

  2. Love your last reason “because I told you so!”…I will definitely seek out bitter greens soon and everything you put on that pizza sounds like a lovely balance!

  3. I’ve had dandelion greens in my CSA box before. I added them to a salad, and made a warm dressing with caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar. It worked very well (I guess very similar to your pizza!). I like dark leafy greens, and luckily they show up quite frequently in my CSA box. Massaged kale and kale chips are some of my favorites.

  4. dandelion greens are suppose to be really good for digestion i hear :D. u could try making dandelion chips! lol. i’m a huge green leafy eater, esp. for my veggie juices or massage salad bowls or steamed salads! i prolly would steam dandelions b/c its so strong and bitter. perhaps dandelion wraps could work?

  5. This sounds so good!! Doesn’t anything taste great on pizza?! I love greens on pizza, especially spinach. I like the idea of pinenuts on the pizza to, I have never tried that before.
    So, I posted this on StumbleUpon (I’m new to the site) and wanted the pizza picture to show up, but it didn’t. Any ideas on how to get pictures to show up on that site?

  6. The pizza looks amazing!! I’ve never had dandelion greens before but it looks amazing on the pizza. Reminds me of arugula… one of my favorites to put on pizza =)

  7. That’s definitly a GREAT pizza! Looks delicious!

    Hugs

  8. I grew up in the Midwest (USA) and we ate dandelion greens often. My mother prepared them like fresh spinach. They’re delicious with malt vinegar over the top. I do recall picking what seemed like bushels all for one meal. They do shrink, don’t they :)
    This pizza looks amazing! Must give it a try!

  9. Yum, yum, yum, and yum! Not only does the recipe sound delish but the pictures are oh so enticing! I’m so inspired by what you cook up in your kitchen, EA!

  10. Delish! Can’t wait to see what you try next ;-)

  11. Caroline, Nelly, Valerie, Regan-Thanks so much for the comment love!

    Andrea, Junia and Patti-love your ideas for dandelion greens and kale. Thx for sharing! And, yes, dandelion greens are supposed to help with digestion, and they can also act as a diuretic!

    Lisa-I <3 arugala too!

    Marisa-Thx for the bitter greens inspiration!!!

  12. this looks great ! i actually like dandelion greens + this pizza looks just delicious. YUM!

  13. looks fantastic! so glad you stopped by my site so i could find yours

  14. I’ve never tried dandelion greens. Another wonderful reason why I love reading blogs..all the yummy foods I find.
    This pizza looks just delicious!

  15. I’ve never eaten dandelion greens. The pizza looks fabulous! I think I’ll have to try it.

  16. Amy, Alison, and Kristen-Glad you like the pizza, and hope you give it a try!

    Laura-Thanks for the “bitter greens” suggestion! I still need to visit an Asian market so I can give your stir-fry Gain Lan a try :-)

  17. ooh a green on a gluten free pizza this is awesome. I like dandelions in salads but Carolyn in my office is scared of them. I am going to tweet her this.

  18. I have a taste for and fondness for all bitter greens, luckily, cosidering how beneficial they are. I am so glad it’s summer- I buy them at my local organic farm. I like collard greens, swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, turnip greens, chicory, escarole… I put them in my vitamix with a little fruit and make a very large green smoothie each day (Monday through Friday) for ease of assimilation. I am a cancer patient and survivor and food is my medicine. Organic, mostly raw, produce has kept me healthy and alive for twenty years. I eat them raw, as is, for a quick snack. Collard greens with raw hemp butter and a little miso paste spread on them is tasty. Turnip greens with raw almond butter and a sprinkle of himalayan sea salt is excellent. I add them to salads, vegan soups and bean and vegetable recipes I concoct each night for dinner. Saturday night is the only time my husband and I share a meal, sort of. He orders a regular plain cheese pizza, well done and I have one with vegan marinara sauce and fresh veggies. Tonight’s was half grated carrots and yellow pepper and half raw dandelion greens. I am very strict, 90% percent of the time, with my health regimen and go off a little, 10% of the time to please my husband. My body seems to able to tolerate it and it makes Jeff happy. I just wish he would incorporate some of my healthy and natural foods into his diet more often.

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