When talking about dandelions, Tony Piazza of Piazza Horticultural Group shared a favorite recipe created by his grandmother, who grew up in Caserta, Italy. "This simple preparation was a spring staple growing up," Mr. Piazza said.
2 ham hocks
2 cups dried white beans
4 bay leaves
One large onion, diced
One clove garlic, whole
2 pounds wild dandelion greens, thoroughly washed
Salt and pepper
Place ham hock, dried beans, onion, garlic, and bay leaves in a large pot with six quarts water. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until beans are tender and ham falls from bone, about 90 minutes. After beans are cooked, salt and pepper to taste.
Add dandelion greens and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Rest for 1 hour before serving, or optimally, serve the next day. Serve in a bowl with a splash of organic extra virgin olive oil, best with a couple of slices of a simple crusty bread for dipping. Buon appetito!