1 • Dandelion greens – Yep, like the weed. Dandelion greens are nutrient dense – 1 cup chopped provides 10% of a day’s calcium requirements – and their bitter flavor profile helps rev up the digestive system. Many people’s palates are not accustomed to such bitter flavors, so start small by mixing them with other, less bitter greens, and mellow their flavor with fat and salt.
Our favorite prep: Salad. Cooking dandelion greens can sometimes increase their bitterness, so start with raw, chopped greens, tossed with an olive oil vinaigrette.
2 • Garlic spears or scapes – These are the flowering part of a garlic plant that is cut off to encourage the plant to put more energy into growing the bulb. Garlic spears come from elephant garlic whereas garlic scapes come from traditional garlic. Use garlic scapes anywhere you’d use garlic cloves, but try eating spears whole, like you would asparagus. Both taste garlicky but aren’t as pungent as a garlic clove.
Our favorite prep: Grilled or roasted. Toss with olive oil and salt, roast in a 400°F oven until beginning to brown. Alternatively, cook on a grill until tender and browned.
3 • Nettles – Nettles grow wild and pop up as one of the signs of early spring. You may have been “stung” by them while spending time outdoors, but don’t worry: freezing, cooking or drying will neutralize the plant’s stinging capabilities so they can be enjoyed in a variety of recipes. Common uses are in soups, stews, and pesto, but feel free to use these anywhere you would other leafy greens such as spinach or arugula.
Our favorite prep: Sautéed. Get our recipe here>>
4 • Artichokes –Part of the thistle family, artichokes don’t appear all that edible, but trust us on this one. They have a delicate, earthy flavor, and make the perfect vehicle for garlic butter or aioli. What’s not to love? Not only are they an appealing addition to your springtime plate, they’re also an excellent source of fiber. If all you’ve ever had are canned or jarred artichoke hearts, you’re missing out.
Our favorite prep: Steamed or pressure cooked. Peel back leaves and dip them in melted butter or dip made with avocado oil mayo, garlic, and fresh herbs. Once you get to the tiny inner leaves, cut out the choke (the tiny, hairlike strands in the middle) and eat the heart, with more butter, of course.
Psst: Looking for email receipts? Sign up at the pin pad at any store!