Weed It or Eat It?

A baggie full of weeds at a suburban farmers market connected me to my Italian grandmother from New Haven

Dandelion greens and cannellini beans in a floral dish, served with a slice of crusty bread.
Sautéed dandelion greens and cannellini beans. Photos: Carol Leonetti Dannhauser
A strainer full of purslane.
Purslane, spurge, and dandelions, happily coexisting in my weed bed.

It’s either that or spurge, purslane’s toxic twin. I wish I knew the difference.

I can remember the exact scent of her tomato sauce. The smell stopped me in my tracks one day as I walked by the exhaust fan of a new restaurant, bringing back a memory I didn’t know I had.

Grandma Filomena and me, hanging out in our yard.
Purslane summer salad with peaches, tomatoes, corn, and feta.
Dandelion leaves in my yard, minutes before they meet the sauté pan.
Dandelion muffins and cappuccino on the deck. The only thing missing is Grandma.

Journalist, Traveler, Teacher, Fencer, Foodie, Friend

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