Dandelion recipes: Italian-style greens.

Dandelion Greens

Simple greens, Italian-style.

My favorite way to eat dandelions.

Here’s how to do it:

Pick dandelion greens. Stick to plants that are not blooming if you don’t want them to be too bitter. Sturdy kitchen scissors are great for picking greens. (You can also use garden or farm-grown dandelion greens—they’ll be bigger and maybe a bit less bitter, but you won’t have the fun of snipping your lawn with scissors!)

Wash dandelion greens. Soak them in a bowl of water, fish them out, and repeat with clean water until you don’t find any dirt on the bottom of the bowl.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet. You could also use lard or schmaltz. Goose fat is especially good.

Saute the greens in the oil. Cook them until they’re as soft as you like. You may want to put a lid on the pan and steam them for a bit if they’re tough.

Salt the greens to taste. Use good salt if you have it—I like unrefined sea salt.

Chop a bunch of garlic. How much depends on how much you like garlic.

Stir the garlic into the greens. I like to leave it basically raw, but you can keep cooking it for a minute or two if you like.

Serve it forth, as they say in the old cookbooks.


  1. dexie said,

    May 29, 2007 @ 8:17 am

    oh wow. never heard of this ever, till now. thank you for such a great idea.

    *via carnival

  2. andy said,

    June 1, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

    I love dandelion greens cooked like this tossed with pasta with a little chopped walnuts and parmasean. Thanks for all the inspiring dandelion recipes!

  3. Heidi (Earthkitten) said,

    June 3, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

    YUM YUM YUMMMMY! Thanks for the pic too…..makes it really look mouth-watering…

  4. Chef Tom said,

    June 4, 2007 @ 10:57 pm

    I’ve never had dandelion greens before. I”ll have to try this :-)

  5. Mike Sirianno said,

    July 15, 2007 @ 9:11 pm

    My Italian greandmother had an Italian name for dandelion greens. Does anyone know what that might be because I know it but can’t spell it.

  6. crabappleherbs said,

    July 16, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

    Was it a name for the dandelion plant or for the cooked dish? Some Italian names for dandelion are: Tarassaco, Soffione, Pisciacane, and of course Dente de Leone. Do any of those ring a bell?

  7. Rachel said,

    September 26, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

    It’s funny that you ask for the Italian name for dandelion greens because that is how I found this site. I was searching for the English name for “safreglia” which is a weed/green that grows near where I live and we cook it kind of like the above recipe for the dandelion greens. I do not think safreglia’s are dandelion greens though, but could that be the name you are thinking of? My spelling is most likely incorrect also. :)

  8. crabappleherbs said,

    September 28, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

    What do the safreglia look like? Are they something in the chicory family?

  9. Barbara Young said,

    January 7, 2008 @ 6:49 am

    My Italian family has always called it “Chicoria” (sp?) which I assumed to be chicory, but I saw them gather it up and it was dandelion greens-perhaps they use the term as a generic “greens” in my family..

  10. marianne lent said,

    January 10, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

    Does anyone know any recipe for radici (sp?). My grandma used to make it with pork chops. I think it was dandelion greens.

  11. crabappleherbs said,

    January 11, 2008 @ 12:03 pm

    Barbara — chicory and dandelion greens are often used interchangeably.

    Marianne — “radici” means “roots.” Maybe you mean “radicchio”? Radicchio is a kind of chicory, so it wouldn’t be surprising if your grandmother substituted dandelion greens. (Italian immigrants were very resourceful with the local wild foods — dandelions, chicory, all sorts of greens… and burdock stems were used as cardoons. I know an Italian-American family in which burdock is called “gardooni” — and they’ve never even heard of “cardoons”!)

  12. Sa l West (Saleo) said,

    March 18, 2008 @ 11:08 am

    Dandelion greens with Green Onions and water creeses sauted in bacon grease is great.

  13. crabappleherbs said,

    March 19, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

    Oh, yum!

  14. Diana said,

    May 14, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

    My grandmother and father called it (sounds like) chee-kau-dee-ah. I don’t know how it is spelled. I just ate some in Italy too. It was tasty! Brought me back many years when my father used to make it. He also used to cook the roots to I think.

  15. crabappleherbs said,

    May 15, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

    Hi Diana. I think you’re pronouncing “cicoria” — technically Italian for chicory, but chicory and dandelion leaves are used interchangeably, and you often hear Italian-Americans calling dandelion cicoria (pronounced chee KO ree ah, with a trilled r).

  16. Jessie Dobbs said,

    August 27, 2008 @ 11:30 am

    “Catalogna Frastagliata Italian Dandelion Greens” – this is the term that I had get in order to acquire the seeds for the european plant which american dandelions look like. Most italians who looked for that taste found out quickly that in order to replicate the flavor of the above noted plant – one had to trim american dandelions when they were very young – and on the full moon (way before the head ever had a chance to turn white). This is an interesting addition to my collection of plants we call “greens”.

  17. Jessie Dobbs said,

    August 27, 2008 @ 11:38 am

    The other name to search for is Cichorium intybus. It is a chicory plant which is related to the dandelion family.

  18. Davis Blanchard Wind Chimes said,

    March 2, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

    I like the French Dandelions best, but have not been able to locate the seed I once had in Eugene OR. That particular seed grew some enormous fleshy leaves, and the plants were almost bushy. They bloomed yellow flowers, so were not the Italian blue flowering type of chicory.

  19. mike nardone said,

    May 3, 2009 @ 7:48 am

    just planted a few rows of italian dandelion.cant wait for the crop,they are good cooked in olive oil and garlic,or picked fresh and eaten raw in a salad. the experts say this green is good for the kidneys

  20. Mario Restive said,

    July 18, 2009 @ 9:51 am

    I have been cultivating Wild Burdock for a few years now and working on developing some new food products with it. Currently I have a nice pizza topping made from Burdock stems of young plants, cut into small pieces and sautéed. Friends and family seem to love it, sort of a Wild Greens Pizza. I have a few recipes if anyone is interested.

    My family has enjoyed eating the Burdock stems for years, in more of an omelet form that is fried in olive oil, we called it Cardoon.

  21. frank granieri said,

    August 2, 2009 @ 3:51 pm

    My grandmother used to take me as a young boy and go to a field adjacent to our home; we would pick approx. 10 shopping bags of Cicoria (we have always pronounced it as if it were spelled) chicaught’eeuh. Everyone ate cicorie at the time. the best ones to eat in a salad are those that you pick wild just after they come out of the ground. They are small and you need a lot of them but with onions, a light sprinkling of olive oil, regular white wine vinegar, salt and pepper made into a salad eaten along with some hard cheese, hard crusty bread and a glass of red wine…..as we say in New Jersey……forget about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, this salad goes especially well with Italian sausage that you could boil first to get rid of some fat, then saute for a short time in olive oil and garlic. After you have eaten this spectacular salad peel then slice an apple, add some salted almonds and sliced peaches then enjoy together with a little Grappa…………and all is well with the world.

  22. Brandon Chavannes said,

    September 30, 2009 @ 10:57 am

    I believe you might be thinking of puntarelle (sp?) Its not actually the exact same green, but they are very close and are usually substituted with each other. They also look very similar.

  23. Brandon Chavannes said,

    September 30, 2009 @ 11:07 am

    Here is also a great recipe. Take a large rondo style pan and cover the bottom with a high temperature oil. Peanut or Extra virgin olive oil are my favorite. Throw in 3 or 4 big chunks of pancetta or bacon if you can’t find it. cook until the pancetta is brown on all sides then add the puntarelle. season liberally with a good salt. Maldon or Sea Salt is fine. add 2 pinches of crushed red pepper. I strongly recommend grinding the crushed red pepper in a coffee grinder before adding it as it will release more oils and have a finer texture. Do the same with some toasted cumin. Once the puntarelle has cooked down add the juice from a whole lemon and 2 tablespoons of butter. Once the greens have soaked up most of the liquid in the pan season again with salt and fresh cracked pepper. serve in a dish and garnish with creme friache if desired

  24. heinlien said,

    February 25, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

    chee-kau-dee-ah. is what my mother called it

  25. maria said,

    April 8, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

    We called it cheekaudeeah too…. we used hard boiled eggs, red onions, garlic and a good vinegar topping….mmmm

  26. michel said,

    April 13, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    i from savoie and we use to pick the pissenlit on the sping time hache’ with soft eggs small pc of lard garlic and vinaigrette < home made vinaiger . DELICIEUX

  27. Marie said,

    July 5, 2010 @ 6:39 am

    Our family also called it chekaudeeah – bitter greens. Boiled and than sauteed in olive oil, garlic and hot pepper. Before serving squeeze lots of lemon on it — de……..licious!!

  28. Joey Bruno said,

    August 14, 2010 @ 9:50 pm

    Yep. Chicoria (pronounced Chick-aww-dee-uh) is the word my family uses( we’re Sicilian), even if it is actually the word for Chicory. . They are very bitter, but once you acquire the taste there’s no green quite like them. I actually made a pizza tonight, and instead of spinach, used Chicoria. With green olives and portobello. So good.

  29. tonina said,

    November 5, 2010 @ 1:14 am

    The English name for dandelion greens in Italian is taràssaco comune or dente di leone and even soffione. The Latin name is Taraxacum officinale, if you serch on wikipedia you’ll find it, just change the language from English to Italian. By the way I’m Italian too, that’s the reason I know the translation.

  30. Nick said,

    December 30, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

    In Greek we call them Horta

  31. Lois Lisandrelli said,

    April 11, 2011 @ 11:48 am

    Well, I just finished picking a big bag full of dandelions….. It’s time consuming to clean them, but SO worht it!!! The tender ones will be for salad & the bigger one (a little bitter) will be boiled, drained , then sauted in oil with LOTS of fresh garlic, crushed red pepper, lots of grated cheese(parm or Romano). Then I move the greens over to make room for a couple of tablespoons of bread crumbs. I stir the crumbs until they turn a LIGHT brown and then mix into the greens……OMG…I will go home from work today and make a big batch!!!!! Can’t wait!!

  32. TJ said,

    July 16, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

    My grandmother made a dish she called (Manescia-spelling probably wrong).
    She boiled the dandelion greens and boiled potatoes separately. She squeezeed the water from the greens, and drained the potatoes reserving some of the potato water in case it was needed. Meanwhile she chopped the garlic and slowly cooked it in olive oil or bacon fat. Then mixed everything together. With crusty bread, its wonderful. Even better a few hours later when the flavors have blended. Does anyone know the correct spelling for this dish?

  33. Megan said,

    October 3, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    My new italian roomate was speaking dandelions with cooking and I have never heard this before. Luckily the smile and nod worked to save an embarrassing moment.
    I have the joy of trying this dish (mouth already watering) this evening. Thank you for the recipe!

  34. Theresa said,

    October 4, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    My family also called it chiccaudah… and they were from Naples and Rome! I was trying to look up how to spell it, and I found this site! So many memories! Does anyone remember the Italian name for fried burdock leaves? (did anyone else’s family make those?)

  35. Diana Borrell said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 4:52 pm

    Hi, I wanted to know the right pronouncation of burdooks, cardoon or gardoon. My son in law corrected me at thanksgiving for saying it wrong. Thank you Diana

  36. Diana Borrell said,

    December 7, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    Hi, I wanted to know if the right pronounceiation for burdocks is cardoon or gardoon. My son in law corrected me at thank,s giving for saying it wrong. Thank you Diana

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    April 28, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

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  38. Susan Lancelotta said,

    April 29, 2012 @ 9:51 am

    My mother always called dandelion greens Shi-gaw-die as did my Italian aunts from Italy. They used to come over to our house with “shigawdie” pickers and pick dandelions of which there was no shortage. My mom also said the greens were like endive so she always used them in salad. In the summer, she would tell us to “go outside and pick some shigawdie for dinner…hurry up before your father gets home!” There were 7 of us kids…we’d have to pick quite a lot.

  39. Sandra E. said,

    May 23, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

    Thx yo u’all for these great receipes & sharing ur memories. I really enjoy, & look forward to weeding my son’ yard to collect these tasty greens &.start cooking. All t ingredients u’all mentioned r part of my daily cooking. yummmmmy! Im looking forward to using the Young dente de leon leaves in sandwiches w chiabatta bread, slices og swiss chees cucumbers w thin slices of sauteedl chicken w evoo drizzled on top. :)

  40. Meta Martinex said,

    June 7, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    ummm, i can’t find my california paint chips (you’ve seen the photo of my office) or i’d go look…argh

  41. Leah said,

    January 18, 2013 @ 8:17 am

    The italian word for dandelion I am pretty sure is Chacoria, I might be off by a vowel or two.
    We try to eat dandelion as a vegetarian meal, with good tomatoes, garlic, any other peppers and combine it with beans and it is a light meal.
    I really recommend eating it without meat since it is a miracle for the liver and you can feel the results, as nature intended!

  42. Jeannette said,

    April 1, 2013 @ 3:41 pm

    Where can I buy canned dandelions?

  43. Jeannette said,

    April 3, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

    Looking to buy dandelions in cans…

  44. Jeannette said,

    April 23, 2013 @ 11:42 am

    Anyone know where to buy canned dandelions??? There was a place in MAINE but can’t remember name of company…..ANYONE??????

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  51. Kat said,

    May 16, 2015 @ 12:56 pm

    In response to Mike Sirianno, are you thinking of carduni? or garduni? Mike Restivo is close also, calling it cardoon.

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