Greens tend to be relegated to slow, long cooking such as braising, but the more delicate of these, such as dandelion, can be wilted and used in a quick meal. Here the bitterness of dandelion greens is tamed by rich egg flavor and a sweet, syrupy balsamic vinegar reduction. Serve it all over a big piece of toasted country-style bread and you’ll see why this versatile dish has a place at the table any hour of the day.
What to buy: Dandelion greens are available year-round, but they’re best from midwinter through spring. If you’re having a hard time finding them or don’t like them, you can use beet greens, escarole, or arugula instead.
6 ounces dandelion greens (about 1 small bunch), washed, thoroughly dried, ends trimmed, and coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the garlic and cook until it just starts to color, about 30 seconds.
Add the dandelion greens and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until just wilted, about 1 minute. Immediately remove from heat and divide the greens between 2 serving plates.
Wipe out the pan, return it to medium heat, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. When it shimmers, add the eggs and fry until set, bubbly, and brown on the edges and the pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes.
Carefully add the balsamic vinegar and cook until it is reduced and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Place 2 eggs on each mound of greens, evenly divide the vinegar reduction, season with freshly ground black pepper, and serve with toast.
Beverage pairing:Terredora di Paolo Falanghina Irpinia, Italy. The greens here present a touch of bitterness, the balsamic some pungency and sweetness, and the eggs some richness. Falanghina, a white grape from southern Italy, offers round, fresh fruit; a touch of herbal sharpness; and good body, hitting all the elements of this simple dish.