Leafy Greens and Garlic Cooked in Duck Fat

A white oval dish filled with leafy greens and garlic cooked in duck fat on a wooden table.

If you’ve cooked with duck fat before, you can jump into this simple dandelion greens and garlic recipe with gusto because you’ve experienced duck fat as the culinary gem that it is. Its unctuous and rich flavor is worth going that little bit out of your way for. Believe it or not, it’s close to olive oil on the health meter. You can buy containers of duck fat at fine grocers, or you can buy a duck, render the trimmed fat, and have a lovely duck ready to roast another night.–Connie Green and Sarah Scott

LC Delirious About Duck Fat Note

A sign of any great recipe is that it begins by gently bathing garlic cloves in warm duck fat until they’re imbued with ducky, fatty goodness, not unlike confit. (We should note that the authors suggest that you can swap olive oil for the duck fat. While not the same, it’s lovely in a quite different way.) While the garlic cloves are then tossed in with the dandelion greens, garlic-imbued duck fat isn’t called into use in this recipe. We can think of dozens of uses for it, perhaps none so tempting as diving right in, face first. If you wish to show a little restraint, however, simply reserve it to toss with potatoes or bone-in, skin-on chicken prior to sautéing or roasting. You won’t be disappointed.

Leafy Greens and Garlic Cooked in Duck Fat

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 5 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • For the duck-fat-roasted garlic
  • For the dandelion greens


Make the roasted garlic

Place the duck fat and garlic in a small, heavy bottomed sauté pan over low heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook just until the garlic begins to turn light golden brown. The garlic will turn too dark quite easily, so keep an eye on it. If it cooks too much, it will taste bitter and unpleasant. Turn off the heat and let the garlic cool in the fat for about 30 minutes. The garlic will continue to brown slightly as they sit in the fat.

Remove the garlic from the fat. If not using the garlic immediately, store the garlic and fat separately in covered containers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.

Prepare the dandelion greens

Trim the ends from the dandelion greens and discard. Wash the greens thoroughly and drain.

If the dandelion greens are young, slice them into 2-inch-wide ribbons. If the dandelion greens are mature and relatively tough, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the greens into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain well in a colander. When the greens are cool enough to handle, place them on a cutting board and cut into 2-inch ribbons.

Heat the rendered duck fat in a large sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, add the greens, stirring to coat with the fat. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

To be quite honest, I thought that dandelions would have a fair amount of bitterness to them, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that they weren’t much stronger than any other greens. Perhaps this was due to the brief boiling, as I had rather mature dandelions, or the duck fat, which does wonderful, deliciously sinful things to whatever you cook in it. Or, even the lovely sweet flavour added by the garlic. Whatever the case, this is a very nice side dish that is quite easy to put together. Making the garlic is time consuming and should definitely be done ahead of time, considering that the dandelion greens finish up in short order, even if they do have to be quickly boiled first. The finished dandelions may not look like a lot, but as a side dish, it was enough for at least three or four people. To take this dish a flavourful step further, toast a few tablespoons of pine nuts and scatter them over the dandelions and garlic just before serving.


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  1. A lovely side effect of searing a couple of duck breasts for dinner earlier in the week is the leftover duck fat to keep on hand for simple yet decadent recipes like this one!

    I am partial to all varieties of greens, but dandelion greens are one of my favorites because of their slightly bitter taste. I normally saute them in a touch of olive oil with sliced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and a squeeze of lemon juice. This recipe got me out of my normal routine and presented me with an unexpected use for the duck fat and dandelion greens.

    Making the quick confit of whole garlic cloves to start is an exceptional idea, then a quick saute of the prepped greens in a touch more duck fat is simply brilliant. I paired this simple side dish with a paprika-roasted chicken and some Parmesan mashed potatoes. A lovely recipe that has me thinking about more unique ways to use the rest of the leftover duck fat!

  2. Really good recipe. I left out the s&p and instead added about a teaspoon each of mushroom soy sauce and black vinegar, then topped with caramelized onions. Served with soy sauce on the table.

  3. I love simple recipes like this. I do a similar dish with kale or other dark leafy green. I don’t think we have dandelion greens in Australia. I’m intrigued! The pine nut addition above sounds delicious!

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