I know you all saw my cousin Mojca, whipping up the traditional Slovenian solata. Such a simple, yet uniquely delicious recipe! When she picks me up from the Ljubljana airport, I can always count on a giant bowl of solata will be waiting for me back at her place. She makes it the best, and I’m the biggest solata snob there is.
The regrat (dandelion) version is my absolute favorite. In the states, you only find the giant leaves of dandelion at the farmer’s markets or grocery stores. While good for you, let’s be honest, they are bitter as hell! The genius of the Slovene regrat is that it is picked in it’s micro stage. Still bitter, but in a more mild way that is complemented by the sweeter apple cider vinegar, pungent garlic and nutty pumpkin seed oil. Creamy red potatoes add richness to the dish, but you can leave out if you prefer.
Many traditional Slovene dishes include wild, seasonal foods. Slovenian cuisine maintains a medicinal streak we can get inspired by.
A note on dandelion picking: Friends, dandelions are a generous and tenacious beings. So while you see ‘em everywhere, only harvest them for eating in places you know are free of chemicals, dog poop, and other kinds of inedibles!
A large bowl of young dandelion leaves, washed well
1-2 cups cubed red potatoes, boiled in salt water
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I find the ACV in the states to be way more acidic than the homemade, Slovenian ones. To make the flavor more mild, I add a splash of water to my vinegar before using)
A good drizzle of pumpkin seed oil, olive oil, hemp oil, or any other oil you fancy
Salt to taste
Clean dandelion leaves and tear into bite sized pieces if the leaves are large. Set aside. Boil the potatoes and drain. While the potatoes are still hot, mix the dandelion greens and potatoes into a bowl, then toss in oil, garlic and vinegar. Add salt to taste. Serve warm.