Friday, May 22, 2009

dandelion greens puree

This was one of those "happy accidents" we all have in the kitchen from time to time. Katie and I were really pumped about making creamed greens (a la creamed spinach), and turning up the flavor-meter by adding some of The Fatted Calf's amazing bacon (If you eat meat, and have not eaten this bacon, you have NO IDEA what you are missing. Get yourself down to the Ferry Building on Tuesday or Saturday and getchoo some.) What happened next was, OK, I messed up. When it came time to add the dairy, I went a little crazy. But, it turned out as an awesome soup, and when we added orzo, it was an excellent creamy pasta dish. On to the bacon!

5 pieces of Fatted Calf bacon
1 bunch of dandelion greens, roughly chopped, big stems discarded
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, finely shredded
3 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs, for garnish
1 cup whole milk
1 cup whole wheat orzo
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from pan, leaving bacon drippings in the pan. Chop bacon immediately and add to a small bowl with the breadcrumbs so they can pick up any excess bacon deliciousness. Add dandelion greens to the pan with the bacon drippings and saute' until wilted about 2-3 minutes. Add milk and stir. Using an immersion blender, (if you don't have one, just use a blender or a food processor ) blend until the greens are fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir in all but 2 tablespoons of the shredded cheese. Now, you could top this with the bacon and breadcrumb mixture and reserved cheese now and eat it as a decadent soup; or you could cook 1 cup of orzo (or any pasta for that matter) and use it as a sauce. I would suggest the latter. Top pasta and sauce with bacon, breadcrumbs, and cheese and sit down for a nice filling, rich, happy kitchen accident.

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