For this recipe, you have two choices of greens. While dandelion greens are bitter, chard is only slightly so. Personally, I enjoy the contrast between the sweet potatoes and the bitter dandelion greens, but if you’re not a fan of such contrasts use chard. During preparation, be sure to remove the stringy stems from dandelion greens (really dandelion chicory, and quite different from the wild greens that take over our lawns & gardens). Regardless of cooking, dandelion greens keep their touch texture, which contrasts with the soft, heartening potatoes, so it’s a good idea to chop them finely. For added nutrition & texture, I mash the potatoes skins and all. Either green or red bunches of dandelion greens are suitable for this recipe.
- 1 ¼pounds Yukon gold potatoes (scrubbed)
- Salt to taste
- 1 plentiful bunch of dandelion greens or if preferred, 1 bunch of Swiss chard
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium size leek (cleaned, chopped, white & light green parts only)
- 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¾ to 1c up warm or hot milk
- Freshly ground pepper
- Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover by an inch with water. Bring to a boil, add salt to preference, reduce heat to medium-low and partially cover. Simmer until tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Drain, return the potatoes to the pot & cover the pot securely. Allow the potatoes to steam in the dry pot for about 5 minutes.
- While the potatoes are boiling or steaming, stem the greens or chard & wash in sink until clean. You should be left with 5-6 cups of chopped greens.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet and add leek and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until leek is tender but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add greens, a handful at a time, making sure to stir until each handful wilts before adding another. When all greens have been added, turn heat to medium, add salt to taste, and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes, until greens are completely wilted and somewhat tender (dandelion greens will remain tough). Remove from heat.
- Mash potatoes with a potato masher or in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Heat 3/4 cup of the milk along with the butter until the butter fully melts, and gradually add to potatoes. Add wilted greens and leeks and mix until well blended. If preferred, add the last 1/4 cup of milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot and enjoy!
- To cook in advance: Although this dish is best served immediately (as the bitterness of the dandelion greens becomes more pronounced over time), you can prep this in advance and heat in a low-medium oven, or in a double boiler. To ensure the dish doesn’t dry out, add a pat of butter on top. Before serving, thin out with hot milk.