Recipes – № 69

Dandelion, Egg, Anchovies and Croutons

A piquant salad to shake up your taste buds

Unless you were brought up by rabbits, you'll probably want to pair dandelion greens with some strong flavors that stand up to the bitter leaves. If you're looking for a salty, sour, umami punch, I can't think of anything better than white anchovies. Called boquerones in Spain but also common in other Mediterranean kitchens, white anchovies are marinated in vinegar or lemon juice and are different from the more common salt-cured variety sold in cans or jars. Soft-boiled eggs and crunchy croutons round out this salad for a light but flavorful lunch.

You can usually find white anchovies in the refridgerator cases of larger grocery or specialty stores.

Serves 4

6 oz dandelion greens or other bitter leafy greens such as puntarelle or rosso di treviso leaves

4 medium eggs

2 dozen white anchovy halves

½ tsp white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

½ Tbsp olive oil

Fine sea salt to taste (about ½ tsp)

For the croutons:

4 slices of miche- or levain-style bread

Olive oil to taste

Fine sea salt to taste


Pre-heat oven to 400F. Trim and rinse the dandelion greens and tear larger leaves in half or three. Dry in a salad spinner (or pat dry with a kitchen towel). Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan (enough to cover the eggs). 

Dice or tear the bread into 1-inch chunks and toss in a large bowl with some salt and olive oil. Taste and add more salt and olive oil as needed and spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes using a timer. Toss the croutons and bake for one or two more minutes if needed until golden brown and crunchy. 

Carefully place the eggs in the boiling water with a spoon and cook for 6 minutes (keep using that timer!). Rinse each egg on the spoon in cold running water for 15 seconds or so and peel.

Whisk the salt, vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl and toss with the dandelion greens in a large bowl. Taste for salt and vinegar and add add as needed. Distribute the greens between 4 large plates or bowls and top with white anchovies and croutons. Quarter the eggs lengthwise, sprinkle with a little salt and place on top of the salad plates/bowls. Serve immediately.

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