Eating along with the season is my motto.
I purchased the first-of-the-year wild dandelion at the Union Square Market here in NYC! It is one the first local greens to show up at the farmers’market in spring. Wild dandelion has noticeable bitterness and astringency that is ubiquitous in many early spring wild, mountain and field plants and vegetables. Dandelion is rich in Vitamin A, iron, calcium, Vitamin K and potassium. My winterized body that had been fueled by many root vegetables for more than months than I expected, is finally treated to fresh dandelion greens .
I prepared dandelion in traditional Japanese goma-yogoshi preparation. Goma-yogoshi literally means ‘vegetables, smudged with ground sesame seeds’. Well, this may not sound appealing to our ears, but believe me, it is a tasty and delicious preparation that works very well with many early spring greens.
Here is how to prepare and enjoy goma-yogoshi. Toast whole black sesame seeds in a little skillet until the seeds are all warmed up and puffed up; transfer the sesame seeds to the suribachi mortar or food processor and process until the seeds began to produce a bit of oil; by this time the toasty and fragrant aroma will permeate your kitchen especially if you are doing the grinding manually in a suribachi mortar; add small amount of good quality shoyu and some maple syrup to the ground sesame seeds to taste, and the dressing is ready. The dressing has a rather dry appearance, but this is how it should look. Blanch the dandelion or other greens in boiling salt water for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain them; cool them in ice cold water; squeeze out the excess water and cut the vegetable into 2-inch lengths crosswise. Toss the greens with the sesame dressing.