Anti-Inflammatory Dandelion Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Have you ever found a beautiful recipe on Pinterest, only to click over to the original blog and find an introduction that is wrought with apologies for their absence and silence for some period of lapsed time. I usually have only just discovered them, so the apology seems out of place and irrelevant at that moment. It becomes something I just skim over quickly, looking for the meat of the content. However, now that Sam and I have been silent for the good part of 3 weeks for the first time in our 7 years of blogging, I am feeling the massive urge to make that same sort of apology! It may be irrelevant to many of you, so hopefully you have already skimmed down to the next paragraph, but to those who have been on this journey with us: I am so sorry for my silence! Life has been crazy with two of my children graduating and my oldest about to fly the nest, that I felt the need to be present. You know, slow things down and consume every moment like a fine piece of chocolate…nice and slow. The good news, I have been brewing up all sorts of delicious recipes and projects in the back of my mind, and I cannot wait to share with you! I am especially passionate about anti inflammatory recipes as it is how I am cooking in my own home for health and nutrition.

With that said, this recipe may be a little late in coming to you, as blood orange season is dwindling and some of your hometowns may be getting too hot and dry for tender dandelion leaves to not be replaced by crispy, leathered mature leaves. However, it may still be possible to enjoy it…so get on some knock-around boots and grab a basket for some foraging!

It always amazes me when going on morning walks, just how much nutrition is growing all around me. I feel like every season gives us beautiful plants growing in the wild that literally feed our bodies what they have been depleted of in the previous season. No surprise that after winter, with the flu season and being stuck indoors, that spring gives us food loaded with iron and vitamin c! The perfect power-hitters for rejuvenating your immune system. This is a beautifully vibrant anti inflammatory recipe that will heal your body while dazzling your tastebuds with flavor punches! If you have never had nasturtium flowers, get ready for a surprise. They are peppery and floral all at once…so good!

If you are new to foraging, dandelion greens and nasturtium flowers are a great way to begin! They are super recognizable and grow in so many locations. Dandelion greens are a bright green with a long serrated shaped leaf, and nasturtiums are a vining plant with bluish green leaves that are round with flowers as vibrant as the sun. Mallow is surprisingly EVERYWHERE, just look for its round, scalloped leaves growing along the sidewalk or your backyard. Just make sure you forage from a spot that you feel comfortable has not been sprayed with pesticides. On a side note: if foraging isn’t your thing, you can buy dandelion greens at many local supermarkets, and they sell nasturtiums at many local nurseries for planting in your backyard.

I personally love the color that blood oranges give this simple vinaigrette, but you can obviously just use a navel orange. Heck, you could even play with some orange and cranberry juices together! The important thing for keeping this recipe anti inflammatory is to avoid adding refined sugar. Let the sweetness come from the fruit!

For a gorgeous pairing, I complimented this salad with some grilled organic chicken topped with plain yogurt and chermoula, a moroccan sauce made with herbs (recipe coming soon).

Happy, healthy eating, friends!

Foraged Dandelion Greens with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

After spring rains, dandelion greens grow in lush and beautiful.  Make sure if you are foraging for greens, and not just purchasing from your local grocer, that there is no danger of poisons and pesticides on the foliage.

Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, French, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: blood orange, dandelion, dill, forage, foraged, herb salad, spring menu, spring recipe, spring salad, vinaigrette
Servings: 6 people
Ingredients
  • FOR THE SALAD
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens
  • 2 bunches fresh dill
  • 12 nasturtium flowers
  • 2 cups mallow leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese feta
  • FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
  • 8 tbsps fresh blood orange juice (or naval oranges)
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsps shallots, minced
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Wash the greens and break them into bite size pieces.  They display beautifully on a platter.  Scatter whole nasturtiums and single petals all over the top.

  2. To make the vinaigrette: combine all the ingredients, leaving out only the olive oil.  Using a fork or whisk, stir vigorously while adding the olive oil in a steady slow stream.  

  3. To serve, drizzle the vinaigrette over the top.  Enjoy alone, or as a refreshing accompaniment to lamb, chicken, or fish.