Many people somehow associate foraging for wild greens as something that happens mainly in the spring. But there is almost nothing to compare with taking a stroll outside to enjoy the crisp autumn days. If you cast your eyes underfoot you will notice that a number of cooler weather loving greens are back. Some plants that are “weeds” do not have the same season as native plants, and are able to regenerate several times in a year. Great news for foragers since they are young and tender again now. And I envy west coast and southern states as they have greens like nettle and chickweed through the entire winter.
For dandelions, we pick the inner most leaves, some so young they are barely forming teeth. You can feel the soft texture between your fingers and their lighter almost emerald green hue. We just threw them in in the last few minutes to our lightly sauteed chicken, sundried tomato, garlic and pasta dinner last night, so they are just wilted and soft: cooked but not boiled to a mush.