Crunchy dandelion greens tossed in a creamy avocado caesar dressing and topped with perfectly seasoned butternut squash. It’s the classiest salad I have ever made! If you like going on food adventures, you are in for a treat.
I have always wanted to try dandelion greens. Finding them at a grocery store can sometimes be a hit or miss. They are generally hard to find.
I visited Whole Foods over the weekend and behold, there they were. I grasped a bundle and placed it into my shopping cart! Yippy …
What do dandelion greens taste like?
That’s a good question. Do you know how collard greens taste? I would describe dandelions similar to that of a collard leaf. It’s definitely a bitter green.
Citruses like lemons, limes, or vinegar are the perfect ingredients to pair with such a green. I did just that in my creamy avocado caesar dressing.
One thing you should know about consuming dandelion greens, a little goes a long way. What I mean is, when making a salad using dandelions, it should be served as a small side salad and not the main course. Apparently, consuming too much has been known to cause stomach irritation.
How to cook butternut squash for a dandelion salad?
I like to peel the squash completely, remove the seeds, slice it into moon-shapes, then into cubes. Imagine, instead of croutons, we are using butternut squash “croutons”. So cute.
The best ever creamy avocado caesar dressing. Guess how I made it? In a blender! Yup, you heard right. So easy, I know. I aim to make your life ( and mine) easy.
For that special touch, I roasted the seeds from the butternut squash. They are perfectly seasoned and crunchy. More information on the recipe card.
1 bunch of dandelion greens, stems removed, and cut into 1–2 inch pieces
1/2 cup diced cucumber (about 1/2 of one English or 3 Persian)
For the avocado caesar dressing:
2 anchovy fillets packed in oil
2 green onions
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 ripe avocado, pit, and shell removed
6–8 basil leaves
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt (or salt to taste)
pepper to taste
Butternut squash croutons:
3 cups butternut squash, cut into a medium-seize dice (about 1 small butternut squash)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (can substitute for avocado oil)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt (not iodized)
Butternut squash seeds
a pinch of smoked paprika
a pinch of salt and pepper
a pinch of garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 375°F
In a large mixing bowl, add the cubed squash, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano, cumin, and salt. Toss and mix until each cube is coated with the seasoning.
When ready transfer to a nonstick sheet pan (use parchment paper is necessary) and bake for 20-25 minutes until fork-tender. After the squash is fork-tender, remove them from the pan, set them aside to toast the seeds.
Roast the butternut squash seeds
Wash and dry the seeds well. Transfer to the same baking sheet the squash was on. Sprinkle in the spice and oil. Toss and mix to fully coat each seed.
Place them into the same preheated oven set at 375°F and bake for 7-10 minutes (just enough to give them some crunch). Meanwhile, we will make the ceasar avocado dressing.
Avocado caesar dressing
Add the anchovies, green onions, olive oil, avocado, juice of the limes, basil leaves, garlic, pure maple syrup, water, salt, and pepper into a high-speed blender and blend until a thick and creamy dressing forms. Now we are going to put it all together.
Putting it all together
Add about 1/4 -1/2 cup of dressing to the greens (depending on how saucey you like your salads) and turn and toss with tongs until every leaf is fully covered with the dressing.
Top the dandelions with roasted butternut squash croutons, freshly diced cucumbers, and toasted seeds.
Serve and enjoy right away.
Don’t have basil? Dill, fresh mint, or cilantro would all work well.
What if I can’t find anchovies? Use 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce.
Can I use acorn squash instead? Yes.
Method:handmade & baked
Keywords: dandelion greens salad, dandelion recipes raw, dandelion flowers in salad, italian dandelion salad