I’ve been reading about the extraordinary health benefits of dandelion leaves. On the way home from Northcote station one day I spotted some beautiful dandelion plants and picked some leaves to make spanakopitas.
My recipe for spanakopitas changes every time according to what I’ve got in the fridge but here is the general idea…Instead of spinach I used dandelion, chick weed and dock leaves. Cook up 1 chopped onion in some olive oil on very low heat so it softens slowly, add garlic, smoked paprika and chilli and cook for a bit. Add washed and chopped leaves and sauté briefly before adding a slash of water and simmering for about 5-10 min to cook the leaves a bit. Dandelion and Dock leaves have a slightly bitter flavour like chicory. Chick Weed doesn’t need much cooking and can be eaten raw so mix it in last if you are including it.
Take off the heat and mix in ricotta, fetta cheese and a few toasted pine nuts salt and pepper. Prepare your filo pastry sheets as per instruction on the packet. Wrap your parcels and brush the tops with olive oil or melted butter then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake in hot oven -180C- till nice and golden. Yumm! (and very healthy)
Just a note on foraging for and eating weeds. Please do your research as many weeds are toxic. Edible Weeds and Garden Plants of Melbourne by Doris Pozzi is an excellent reference book.
The spanakopitas were photographed on a plate available at Myer, which is part of the Heritage Dinnerware Botanic Collection designed my me!