Simply in Season

News and reflections on all that's good about local food
from the co-author of Simply in Season,
a World Community Cookbook in the spirit of More-with-Less

Monday, May 08, 2006

Dandelions and zucchini brownies

I keep thinking about those Locavores, and how I could stretch my own commitment-to-local-food muscles this month. My resolution of the day is inspired by the Simply in Season recipe of the week, Dandelion Bacon Salad.

Don’t know what it is, but I just haven’t made the leap to eating my own dandelion greens. There. I’ve said it.

The dumb thing is that I already know that I like the taste; I’ve bought them before at our farmers market. But somehow that’s easier, when they’re all neatly bundled up with a rubber band. Whether they’re pea shoots or garlic scapes (edible parts of the plant that don’t appear in supermarkets), dandelions or purslane (common wild foods), greens just look more appealing with a rubber band. Ah, the power of packaging, even at a farmers market!

Looking out my window at those dandelions and seeing “food” (eat it), not “weed” (root it out, kill it), is a stretch for me. Dumb thing number two: sheesh, we’ve got a bumper crop out there! I fuss about our peas that don’t come up while ignoring the veritable field of dandelions produced through no effort whatsoever.

OK. I pledge to make Dandelion Bacon Salad from my own dandelions this month. (How’s that for a baby step on the local food path?) And if I can’t make it from ingredients completely from within a 100-mile radius, I’m at least going to do some investigating into local sources. There’s already pasture-raised bacon in the fridge from our friends at Wood Family Farm, but the tablespoon of flour may present the biggest problem. More on local grains another day.

For more spring SIS recipes -- Vegetable or Fruit Oven Pancake, Sausage and Greens Soup, plus the one for Zucchini Brownies, a luscious favorite to file for later in the summer -- go to the recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Love the photos by Bill Wade (including this one).

There's also a terrific new Simply in Season review posted at Christian Book Previews.


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