I’ve been toying with the idea of watermelon salad for some time now, so this weekend I finally decided to dive in and make it for some friends that were over. I found a range of recipes, most of which called for at least mint and feta, but I found one that included arugula. The bitterness of the arugula would go great with a sweet dressing and the sweetness of the watermelon, I thought. So, last week I went out and bought everything I needed. I only ran into one problem…my arugula went bad before I could use it. Despite being frustrated I was out of time to run to the store and had to make a decision quickly.
The dish just seemed to scream for something bitter in it, but what? After some rapid Googling, I came to a solution. Dandelion greens! I had plenty of robust dandelions growing in my former garden. I went out and cut about 6 large leaves. They were a combination of mature and young leaves. I had read that mature leaves would be too bitter and that they should be blanched at least. But, I’m stubborn and wanted crisp, fresh greens in the salad so I washed and chopped them raw.
I did make the salad about an hour ahead of time and dressed it so that the greens would sit with the dressing for a little while to curb any overly bitter portions. The result was fantastic and everyone ate a healthy portion of the salad…even after I told them it was dandelion greens in it.