If you ask my 87-year-old-nonna how to make this recipe, there is only one way — boil the dandelion with fennel and some Parmigiano Reggiano and olive oil.
Well, this recipe was inspired by my grandmother’s staple of boiled dandelion and fennel, but I wanted to make it a complete meal and more palatable for folks who are not used to eating bitter foods. The right direction felt like sweet and savoury flavours would win over hearts and taste buds of those wanting to add in these types of ingredients but want it to taste great too!
So, when my nonna wasn’t looking, I played with the ingredients and came up with this charming recipe! (Be sure to check out the health benefits of dandelion here!) By the way, underneath this dish is a beautiful crochet table runner she made for me. I quite love it!!
Braised Dandelion with Fennel, Bacon, Eggs and Figs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Number of Servings: 2-4
- two bunches of dandelion leaves washed and chopped
- 1-2 Fennel bulbs (depending on the size of bulbs, organic bulbs can be very small), rinsed, cored and cut into slices
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cups organic chicken broth
- 1 lb. Pasture-raised bacon
- 2-3 eggs, soft-boiled or pan-fried
- 2 cups of water
- 2-3 dried figs
- Place bacon on baking sheet and place in oven. Turn oven on to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and leave bacon in until oven reaches full temperature, about 20 minutes.
- Place water in braising pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place chopped dandelion in water and let cook for about 3 minutes. Discard all of the water.
- Add minced garlic, sliced fennel and chicken broth to dandelion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes mixing at the halfway point.
- Meanwhile, make the soft-boiled eggs or poached/pan-fried eggs. For soft boiled, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add eggs in and let cook for about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from water and immediately run under cold water for about 1 minute. Set aside. Prepare Bacon bits. Once cooked, let the bacon cool down. Chop the bacon into small bits and reserve the bacon fat. Chop dried figs.
- Once the dandelion/fennel is fully cooked, drizzle about ½ cup of the bacon fat over the mixture and add bacon bits. If you want to omit this part, drizzle 2 Tbsp. of olive oil.
- Plate the dandelion/fennel mixture and add soft-boiled or pan-fried or poached egg on top and sprinkle with diced figs. Garnish with fennel fronds. (Optional)