The Dandelion is a relation of the Aster. In common parlance, the name dandelion is a corruption of the French dent-de-lion, lion’s teeth, of which one is reminded looking at the side of the leaf. You know it, you have seen it growing in the spaces between paving stones down the road, in your garden and in fields with their lovely floral seed heads which, we as children used to pick and blow the seeds off them and watch the little seeds take off in the breezes and go to plant themselves elsewhere. We look at the flowers and think how pretty they are, but the stems are too short to pick them and pop then into a vase. So, we leave them, one of the most edible plants in our garden. You can eat the whole plant. Sophia Lindop well known Cape Town Cook, Food Photographer, and Cookbook Author tried the dandelion with great success last weekend.
She speaks so simply of her first Dandelion Salad and says, “Our first crop of dandelion leaves was just enough to make a small salad for two. Because of its slightly peppery flavour, I decided to dress it with a peppery Olive Oil, added some freshly milled black pepper and a well-aged nutty Parmesan. Delicious!”
I thought of a couple of wines that I would drink with this enchanting foraged salad.
Lovely whiffs of white flowers, Granny Smith Apples, Ripe Bon Chretien Pears, soft sun dried apricots and poached quince all intermingle on the palate. There is an undertow of French Oak all in perfect harmony with the sappy fruit and a zippy acidity in a creamy finish.
Whole bunch pressed and fermented naturally in both new and second Fill 500 litre French Oak Barrels. Whiffs of citrus, sweet topical limes, oak spice and vanilla. The palate reflects the aromas, rich, full, complex. Lovely ending, all balanced and a mineral hint in the ending.
Great classic Chenin. Time on the lees after natural alcoholic fermentation. No Malolactic took place. Maturation time on the less for a year in 2nd and 3rd fill French Oak Barrels. Whiffs of baked Granny Smith apples, marmalade and quince Marmelada. Rich, round and full palate where a generosity of fruit is repeated in textured layers. Heavy bottle, closed with natural cork and dipped in black wax. Impressive glass.
A brilliant unoaked Chardonnay from the Robertson De Wets from De Wetshof. Fabulous fruit which needs no oak support. Crisp and delicious, a great match to Sophia’s Salad.
Read more about Sophia and get information about her ‘about-to-be-released’ new cookbook, Going Home – CLICK HERE