It's time for a spring clean on all fronts. Before I deep clean the house, though, I have to start with my body. The dandelion plant, its edible leaves, roots, and flowers, have been used for generations as a gentle tonic that helps to cleanse the liver and aid digestion. Dr. Oz includes dandelion root tea as part of his "48-Hour Weekend Cleanse" and touts the benefits of dandelion greens, by helping to promote a healthy liver, as a contributor to deeper sleep. Dandelion greens are loaded with Vitamin A and contain calcium, Vitamin C, and iron. Check out Shape magazine's nutrition facts for dandelion greens.
|Fresh Dandelion Greens|
Fresh dandelion greens are easier to find in mainstream food markets than in past years. They are easier to find at places like Whole Foods or at MOM's Organic Market (if you're in the Washington D.C. area). Don't pick them from your yard if you spray for weeds or from anywhere where dogs run. Just saying.
All the ingredients for this salad are seasonal. I included mild, baby spinach--because dandelion greens are bitter (imagine arugula without the peppery kick). The young leaves are less bitter and more tender. They're better for salads. The strawberries were purely for sweetness and to balance the bitterness. I always buy organic strawberries because conventionally grown strawberries are "the most chemically intensive crop in California." Crunchy carrots promise texture and brightness. Finally, spring onion, tender and peppery, makes this salad a delicious side, light meal, and a terrific spring cleanse.
Dandelion Strawberry & Spinach Salad
4 cups baby spinach, washed
1 bunch (handful) young dandelion greens, chopped
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 pint organic strawberries, sliced
1 cup baby yellow and orange carrots, sliced lengthwise
- Place a mound of spinach on 4 salad plates.
- Top spinach with dandelion greens.
- Scatter onions slices over the mound of greens.
- Surround the greens and onions with strawberries and carrots.
- Serve with vinaigrette dressing.