“Lion’s Teeth”

The use of dandelion greens as a food dates back for centuries. In France, the plants came to be known as dent de lion, or “lion’s teeth” in a reference to the long, jagged leaves and the sunny flowers which do rather resemble the manes of lions. With some adjustment to the name, the plant made its way into the English language, as well as the English diet.

Sweet potato ravioli with shrimp, dandelion greens and wild mushrooms

Click here to view a high-resolution version of this picture.

I used pre-made ravioli from Citarella. Manhattan apartments being what they are, I don’t have the counter space to make homemade ravioli, otherwise I would have used that instead. I also don’t like cream sauces (which is why you don’t see any here), although you might say this dish probably could have used just a touch.

1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 T. unsalted butter
2 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 oz. oyster mushrooms, sliced
2 small bunches dandelion greens, cleaned and chopped coarsely
kosher salt
freshly milled black pepper
cooked ravioli

Place peeled shrimp in a small bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt; toss to coat. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Cook ravioli in simmering water until the pasta reaches the desired doneness, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain, reserving a little pasta cooking water.

Melt 1 T. unsalted butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic. Sauté for 1 minute or until garlic begins to take on a bit of color. Add shrimp and cook, stirring frequently or until shrimp turn a bright orange, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt 1 T. butter over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms. Sauté until they’ve released their juices and then reabsorbed them. Check seasoning. Add the remaining butter to the skillet. Stir in dandelion greens. Cook until the greens have wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Return the shrimp mixture to the skillet. Check seasoning.

Add ravioli to the pan, along with a little of the pasta cooking water. Toss gently. Taste for salt (if necessary), finish with some tarragon or onion chives and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Time: 30 minutes, not including prep.


  1. My ancestors brought dandelions to new england as a good source of food, early for the season.
    Just goes to show you ‘weeds’ are often contextual – we only forget their properties.


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anna brones

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