How do you show off the best of fresh summer vegetables without getting sick of the same old standbys? Simple dishes that have a twist are not hard to do, it just means thinking slightly outside of our typical comfort zone.
In this dish, fresh summer tomatoes are seared until golden brown, then coconut milk is poured into the pan to slightly caramelize. This seared coconut milk, along with a hint of thyme and a really good salt, tops the dish off as a warm coconut milk dressing.
Dandelion greens are used as the base here. If you aren't familiar with these bitter greens, dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium... the list goes on.
Could you forage for these babies in your own lawn? Sure, assuming you have a lawn and it's pesticide free. Word on the street is that the young leaves (4-5") are more mild. Once they've grown to a large size you a may find sauteing or blanching them helps to cut the bitterness. Remember to look for hitchhikers on your leaves before you toss them into your dishes.
Seared Tomato over Dandelion Greens with Coconut Milk Drizzle
1 large tomato
1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
1 tbls coconut oil
1 tbls olive oil
2 cups dandelion greens (or other greens)
Salt crystals (use a good sea or Himalayan salt)
Fresh thyme, a few sprigs
Fresh black pepper
1-2 tbls toasted pine nuts
In a small fry or sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Cut the tomato in half horizontally, place cut side down in the hot oil. Don't move them, sear about 5 minutes and carefully check the bottom to see if they are browned and to ensure they are not sticking. Leave them in the pan a few more minutes if needed, but you don't want the whole tomato going soft.
Pour the milk directly in the pan with the tomatoes, allow the cream to sizzle, bubble and to caramelize. Turn off when the milk begins to thicken and the edges around the pan have browned. This should only take 2-4 minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
Toss the greens with a good drizzle of olive oil and place in the middle of two plates. Add a tomato half to each plate, drizzle with the caramelized milk. Give each plate a finishing sprinkle of salt, a dash of fresh pepper, fresh thyme and a few pine nuts.
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