And when the first rains come…
By Vanessa Santana
When the first rains come, a new variety of products arrives to our markets, today we’re going to talk about one of them. A product that reminds me the last time I went to buy it with my father to get it cooked by my mother on a stew. Our favourite season soup: the Dandelion Stew.
Dandelions, also called in the Canary Islands as “champurrios”, it’s a biannual vegetable species with a straight stalk, it has big leaves and they are divided in many segments. Its flowers are small and they have a strong yellow color, similar to a lemon color. It acts as a stimulant and they are antiscorbutic. In addition to that the plant has diuretic properties and it purifies the bloodstream. Teas, juices, salads and soups can be made with this plant but the Dandelion Stew has become one of the most popular dishes in our regional gastronomy.
This plant adds a particular taste to any soup or stew and alongside with cress they form the most iconic ingredients of the Canary cousine.
It’s been considered as wild weed. It’s a variety of the rocket family and it’s tender and has a strong taste: kind of spicy and bitter, it takes to your mind a flavour similar to wasabi or mustard. It can be added to salads, pizzas, pasta…etc. Due to its flavour and characteristics it can be served with carpaccios and the well-known salads with rockets, orange and parmesan cheese. It’s considered one of the most popular dishes in the Canary cousine. It has an urgent and easy preparation, the Dandelion Stew can be served with gofio, regional cheese and wine.
Without any doubt this dish can fulfill the expectations of any demanding palate, it is a pleasure to consume it when the cold is being noticeable around the islands.
Now, take your shopping list, go to the market and buy some dandelions, potatoes and some tender beans. Buy some corn cob, sweet potatoes and some yams too. Also bring some garlic, green pepper, cumin, aove and a bit of salt. Now it’s time to prepare a good stew, especially with this cold weather.