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Dandelion Greens with Roasted Parsnip & Turnip Skordalia

Horta, or wild greens, are a staple in the Greek diet. There are tons of varieties all of which are most often boiled and served drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. But most Greeks also enjoy eating these greens with a dollop of pungent skordalia, that ever-so garlicky Greek dip made with potatoes or bread. My father-in-law loves to eat his vlita (amaranth greens) smothered in skordalia; my mother-in-law …  not so much. In fact, she scolds him that the subsequent smell (the inevitable result of eating this stuff) will deter anyone from coming within five feet of him. But I’ve got to admit, I eat skordalia every chance I get … and I don’t care one bit!

Case in point: we went out Saturday night with my sisters and friends to an Astoria taverna, Kyclades (owned by very good friends of ours) and ordered the “poikilia” or trio of Greek dips (tzatziki, skordalia and taramosalata). Most of our parea (that’s Greek for group, friends – you get the point) shied away from the garlicky stuff. Me, I dove headfirst (almost literally) into the silky skordalia and creamy tzatziki. How could anyone not?!  And to be honest no one around me complained that I, well, allegedly stunk nor did I get a whiff of garlicky aftereffects from any of my fellow diners. Though the five carafes of wine may have had something to do with that …

Moving on … a quick trip to the fruit and vegetable market saw me bringing home bundles of fresh turnips and parsnips this morning. And my first instinct this afternoon was to transform these root vegetables into skordalia. And you know what? Who needs potatoes or bread in their skordalia when they could use these two beauties instead? This skordalia turned out utterly delicious … just make sure to roast the parsnips and turnips as I share below. It will make all the difference.

By the way: As I was making this and subsequently clicking away with my camera while photographing the dish, I was all the while thinking it was pretty much genius to use these root vegetables in place of potato or bread as in traditional skordalia. A quick search on Google.com as I began typing this post out, however, proved me wrong: take a look at Laurie’s Celery-Root Skordalia here, or the Maloufs’ Parsnip Skordalia here … they too sound fantastic. And there I was thinking I was SO darn creative …

Dandelion Greens with Roasted Parsnip and Turnip Skordalia

3 lbs. dandelion greens
3 turnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, trim the dandelion greens and rinse them well to remove all dirt and grit. (Tip:  I like to fill my kitchen sink with cold water and let the  dandelion greens float around, allowing the grit and dirt to sink to the bottom. I soak them this way two, sometimes three times, to be sure they’re clean.) Place the dandelion greens in the pot of boiling water and cook the greens for about 15 minutes. Empty the greens into a colander, then rinse under cold water and finally drain well. Push gently down on the greens to remove excess water. Set the greens aside.

For the Skordalia: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the turnips and parsnip in some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place them in a baking dish and roast until tender and light golden. Let the vegetables cool. Place the roasted turnips and parsnip into the bowl of a food processor along with the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and vinegar. Process the vegetables and with the motor on, begin adding the olive oil. Process the mixture until smooth and well combined. Add additional olive oil as necessary. Adjust seasonings and serve alongside dandelion greens.

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11 Responses to “Dandelion Greens with Roasted Parsnip & Turnip Skordalia”

  1. Rosa says:

    That dish is very unique and delicious looking!I’ve never eaten cooked dandelion greens.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Cherine says:

    I love dandelions, in Lebanon we eat them with caramelized onions, but here in France I’ve never found them!! Love your recipe!!

  3. There are dandelion greens in one of the markets near us all the time. It’s time to try them. Bet they’d be a nice swap for what we normally cook.

  4. Hey this looks so scrumptious. We have a dish called Hindbé in the middle east. Its is delicious. This looks yum and i am loving your use of root veg. Very creative even if someone else has made it before. I had so much of this in Greece over the summer. It truely is a staple dish and you have made it your own. Yumm!

  5. Ivy says:

    Love any kinds of greens and your skordalia sounds delicious and very original.

  6. Foodjunkie says:

    What a great recipe this is! I love root vegetables, especially parsnips, but I have not seen them anywhere in Greece.

  7. Peter says:

    Maria, very creative takes on the two classics. The skordo and sweetness of the root vegetables plays well against the bitter greens.

  8. I love love love this recipe of skordalia Maria! Great idea to use parsnips and turnips, even if someone though of it sooner. It happens to me all the time, don’t worry :)
    By the way, I love Malouf’s recipes. I just bought a book of his and can’t wait to start cooking from it.
    Magda

  9. admin says:

    Thanks Magda! I have been eyeing the Malouf book on Turkey, titled Turquoise, and I am itching to buy it!!

  10. What an awesome fusion type dish!

  11. I saw some fresh dandelions this week and was reminded that they are my favorite greens! I am fascinated with that dip you are describing, have never had anything like it and it sounds so delicious! I would be like you, I don’t care if I smell of garlic, I will have a ton of the stuff regardless! (plus it is good for you!)

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