1/2 cup brown onion, fine dice
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
2 bunches dandelions, stemmed, rinsed, and chopped coarsely
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and de-germed, minced
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sugar (taste the greens to see how much you need for balance)
1 cup of liquid (water, vegetable stock, or a mixture. Apple juice is a variation as well)
1 teaspoon vinegar (sherry, white balsamic, or cider)
Heat a ten-inch skillet that has a tight fitting lid over medium heat.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan, and when you can see it shimmering, add the onions. Toss to coat the onions, and sauté until soft and just coloring.
Add the dandelions and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
Make a well in the center of the greens, and add the garlic. If there is no oil standing in the bottom of the pan, add a little to the garlic. Sauté until garlic is softening and aromatic. Toss to evenly incorporate the garlic into the onion and dandelion mass.
Sprinkle the sugar over the lot and toss. Cook a couple minutes to caramelize the sugar.
Add the liquid at this point. Put the top on the pan and simmer until the greens are tender. Remove the top and cook off the remaining liquid.
Drizzle with the vinegar, toss to mix in evenly, and serve.
VARIATION: Use some apple juice and vegetable stock combined for the liquid, and use cider vinegar to finish. While the greens braise, sauté some apple wedges in a little butter. Fold these into the greens just before adding the cider vinegar. This is a nice sweet and sour type dish that is a good foil for dishes like Pork Chops with Apples and Cream. If apples are not available, you can still use some apple juice and toss the dandelions with some kasha (buckwheat groats) for a nice hearty side dish.
YIELD: 4 servings
SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Chef Andrew Cohen