Linguini with Dandelion Greens, Cashews and Grapes

linguineI love the combination of the flavor of the greens with the sweetness of the grapes and the gentle heat of the pepper flakes. You will find that quickly blanching the greens in boiling water helps dampen the strong bitterness and also leaves them a brilliant green. This meal serves four, so it’s great for a summer sit down dinner with friends.

Makes 4 servings

1 large bundle dandelion greens (you can also substitute with mustard greens)
12 oz dry linguini
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup red grapes, cut into halves lengthwise
1/2 cup toasted cashews, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese

Boil a large pot of water. Quickly submerge the greens in boiling water for about 30 seconds, remove with a skimmer or tongs and briefly plunge into a bowl of ice water. Drain, roughly chop the greens and set aside.

Cook the linguini according to package instructions in the same boiling water used to cook the greens.

Meanwhile warm the oil in a large pan, add the garlic, grapes and pepper flakes and cook stirring for about 30 seconds until garlic becomes fragrant. Stir in the greens, salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes until well warmed. Add in the cooked pasta with a little of the cooking water and mix well.

Serve with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.