Eating “The Greens-a”

Over the weekend I made the sacrifice and went grocery shopping.  The multiple aisles and the mysterious classification of food only heighten my loathing of the shopping experience.  We have a local Farmer’s Market that offers freshly plucked vegetables, but when the paper goods and cat food need replenishing, I am forced to shop outside the Farmer’s Market.  Sigh.

Biting the bullet, off I trudged to the big box store.  At least the produce is plentiful and fresh at this mammoth emporium.  As I trolled for Romaine lettuce, my attention suddenly was riveted on a mountain of green produce that looked like its leaves had been cut with wide-toothed pinking shears:  Dandelion greens! My Italian heart swelled at the sight of those voluptuous greens.

Throughout my childhood minestre fagioli was a Friday night staple. For years the Roman Catholic Church forbade eating meat on Fridays. Daddy used to drive to Cousin Natale’s farm to harvest dandelion greens and he would cook up a large pot of “the greens-a”.  Minestre fagioli, a Southern Italian delight, is made with dandelion greens, olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper, and cannellini beans. It simmers for hours to alleviate the bitterness of the dandelions.  Serve it up with crusty Italian bread and mangia!  I served up the minestre fagioli. My daughter took a bite, wrinkled her nose, and pronounced the greens bitter.  It is, I admit, an acquired taste.  Next time I will use mustard greens.

Ciao for now.

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