Daily Archives: April 16, 2007

Who does Seattle’s PR?

If the goal is keeping people out of town, I think Seattle must have the best PR firm in the world. The city has systematically and successfully convinced all of America that the weather here is awful, but it’s really quite lovely. On Saturday I left Chicago, which had been blanketed in snow a few days earlier, and spent Sunday strolling the farmer’s market at a snail’s pace in the Seattle sunshine. I bought rites of spring like fiddlehead ferns and lemon balm and dandelion greens, then spent the late afternoon at home, first cutting flowers from my yard and trimming (yes, more) rhubarb, then splayed out in the sun, unconscious, on the portion of the dog bed my now-eating dog would permit me to share with her. Meanwhile, the same friends who doubted my ability to adjust to a rainy climate are dealing with the drama queen that is New England weather. I daresay I rather prefer Seattle.

Last night we hauled the red Weber onto the porch and grilled for the first time this year. Yes, you can eat dandelion greens – they have lots of iron.

Dandelion chimichurri

Grilled Albacore with Dandelion Chimichurri
Recipe 106 of 365

Chimichurri is an Argentinean herb sauce, traditionally made with some mix of parsley and/or cilantro, oregano, olive oil, vinegar or citrus juice, and plenty plenty plenty of garlic. This version substitutes fresh spring dandelion greens for the parsley, resulting in a punchy, slightly bitter flavor that marries well with the sweetness of the tuna. Serve with a salad made with soft, sweet greens, such as mache, miner’s lettuce, or spinach, and good, crusty bread. And try to avoid kissing anyone for a few hours afterward.

Of course, you could smear this sauce on virtually anything – try grilled steak or salmon.

TIME: 15 minutes preparation, plus grilling time
MAKES: 4 servings

1/4 pound dandelion greens
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning tuna
2 packed tablespoons chopped oregano
1 tablespoon lime juice or white vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Freshly ground pepper
1 (1 1/4-pound) sushi-grade albacore tuna “loin”, left whole or cut into individual portions

Preheat a gas grill over medium-high heat or prepare a hot charcoal grill.

Trim the greens up to where the leaves start and wash well, picking out any remaining buds or grass you might find. Set aside.

Process the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt together in the work bowl of a food processor until finely chopped. Add the dandelion greens and the oregano, and pulse until the greens are finely chopped, scraping the sides with a soft spatula if necessary. Add the lime juice and 1/4 cup of the olive oil and pulse to blend. Season the mixture to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary, and transfer to a small bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top and set aside.

Rub the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over the fish, and season with salt and pepper.

When the grill is hot, cook the tuna to desired doneness, just 1 to 3 minutes per side if you like your tuna still rare in the center, or 3 to 5 minutes per side if you’d like it cooked through.

Transfer the tuna to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving hot, with the chimichurri spooned on top.


Filed under farmer's market, fish, recipe, vegetables