Dandelion Greens and Chickpea Salad

Once upon a time in High School I went macro, which is short for Macrobiotic. All you need to know is that it’s a mostly vegan diet (fish is allowed) that puts importance in grains and seasonal vegetables. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but I won’t bore you with the specifics. Being Macrobiotic made me feel great, my skin glowed and I had this incredible force of natural energy inside me (without coffee!). Like any diet, it’s difficult to translate when you eat outside of your home…that is until my mother discovered The M Cafe. Good old Gweneth Paltro’s buddy and celeb chef Lee Gross started the restaurant  (on Melrose and La Brea) in 2004. If you knew me in High School, chances are I probably made you eat there with me…so I just wanted to say thanks, I know you would have rather gone to the Apple Pan. It’s a bit expensive, but the salads and sushi are so delicious that it most certainly seems worth it, especially since most Macrobiotic restaurants basically serve brown rice and seaweed. I’ve attempted to recreate their dishes over the years, but I think this is the closest I’ve come….and WHOA is it good.

Celebrity Sightings at M Cafe : Anthony Kiedis, Lauren Graham (i die), Kirsten Dunst, Jake Gyllenahll, Ellen Degeneres and Portia DiRossi.

Dandelion Greens and Chickpea Salad

The incredible bitterness of dandelion is offset by the delicious scent of caramelized onions. I’ve added citrus (not in the original recipe) for color and flavor.  A Google search led me to this recipe, but I’ve made some adjustments since I was missing a few ingredients, but seriously…this salad is insane and I suggest you run out to your produce market and find some dandelion (which aren’t as hard to find as you might think….and SO cheap too!)

You will need:

1 bunch dandelion greens

1 can chickpeas (rinsed)

1/2 of a large yellow onion, cut into very thin half-moon slices (emphasis on the thin)

about 1/2 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tbs sesame oil

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup of orange and grapefruit slices


1. First, caramelize the onions by heating 2 Tbs of the olive oil in a small pan. Fry the onions in the hot oil so they caramelize and become slightly crispy, set aside and drain excess oil.

2. Assemble the salad by cutting the dandelions into bite sized pieces and mixing with the chickpeas and grapefruit in a large bowl.

3. In a smaller bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and sesame oil. Add more amounts to taste….the sesame oil should be a balancing sweetener to the garlic and the bitter dandelion.

4. Drizzle the dressing over the beans and greens and serve to yourself or your guests.

The best part about this salad is that it’s so green and bright and makes you feel so good while eating it and especially after eating it. You can ALSO stick it in the fridge and eat it tomorrow since the dandelions hold up and won’t get soggy like lettuce.

3 thoughts on “Dandelion Greens and Chickpea Salad

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