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Dandelion Greens with a Fried Egg, Croutons, and Anchovy Dressing


Dandelion Greens with a Fried Egg, Croutons, and Anchovy Dressing

Here's our spin on Caesar salad. Instead of the usual mild romaine, we use robust, slightly bitter dandelion greens, which make for a heartier, more deeply flavored salad. The piquant cheese, anchovy, and peppery Sicilian extra-virgin olive oil balance the strong flavor of the leaves, and the egg yolk adds a lovely richness.

If you can't find good dandelion greens, try using escarole, frisée, chicory, or Treviso radicchio. You want something that's sturdy and slightly bitter. Avoid arugula and baby spinach — they are far too delicate for this dressing and will quickly wilt.

Click here to see 'Franny's' Cookbook Brings the Neighborhood Italian Joint to Your Kitchen.


*Note: Always taste dandelion greens before buying them; sometimes they can be too bitter. Just tear off a tiny piece of a leaf (most vendors at the farmers' market will let you do this) and take a bite. The greens should have a hint of bitterness, but it shouldn't be overwhelming.


For the croutons

  • 3 Cups torn chunks crusty bread (about 5 ounces)
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

For the salad

  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped finely
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 anchovies, mashed to a paste (1 teaspoon)
  • 6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 Cups dandelion greens*
  • Coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish


For the croutons

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack positioned in the middle.

In a bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and toast until the croutons are golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

For the salad

Using a mortar and pestle or the side of a large knife, mash the garlic into a paste with pinch of salt. Transfer to a small bowl. Whisk in the vinegar, anchovies, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Crack the eggs into the skillet and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the eggs until the whites are just set, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, toss the greens and croutons with the dressing. Divide the salad among 6 serving plates. Top each with an egg and garnish with grated cheese.