Dandelion Greens with a Fried Egg, Croutons, and Anchovy Dressing from 'Franny's'


[Photograph: John von Pamer]

A salad of whole dandelion greens sounds like a recipe for a bitter experience. The astringent green is often too strong to eat raw—at least without some tamer leaves for balance. So I was curious how I'd like this dandelion Caesar from Andrew Feinberg, Francine Stephens, and Melissa Clark's new Franny's cookbook. Miraculously, the runny yolk, salty-rich anchovy dressing, and curlicues of Parmesan managed to rein in the bitter green. In fact, I came to enjoy its bite alongside so many other assertive ingredients, and I'll probably use it in more salads to come.

Why I picked this recipe: I'm a sucker for Caesars and was curious if pugnacious dandelion greens could be tamed by this treatment.

What worked: This salad was a total surprise. Full of contrasting bold ingredients, the elements all come together when the fried egg yolk is burst upon serving.

What didn't: No problems here.

Suggested tweaks: While this recipe is designed to counter the bitterness of the dandelion greens, you still want to make sure you're using relatively mild ones. If you can try the leaves before you buy, do so, or else look for bunches with smaller leaves. You can also subsitute escarole, frisée, chicory, or Treviso radicchio.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Franny's to give away this week.