Dreaming of Dandelions


It’s too early here yet, but every year, I eagerly await the first appearance of the dandelions. I love dandelions, and I loathe this odd mania so many people have for golf course lawns, bland, boring, non-nutritious, and toxic. Dandelions are not only a boon to all pollen gatherers, they are beautiful flowers, attractive, the clocks are fun for everyone (make a wish!), and they are a great food source for us human types. The flower heads can be dipped in batter, fried, done up sweet or savory. Then there are fritters. The dandelion bud omelet, of course, which has been a favoured Spring food for ages. Getting outside to go gathering dandelion bits is a nice way to spend part of a day, too. You can get your exercise without even noticing.  The young Spring leaves are best, the older leaves become bitter, but there are ways around that if it’s all you have. The roasted roots make a good substitute for coffee, and there’s an adventurous recipe out there for roasted dandelion root ice cream. (I don’t make ice cream, but I’d like to taste that). There have been many additions to the store of dandelion recipes over the years, and I’m looking forward to trying out many of them.

I’m definitely going to give the Dandelion Flower Burgers a try, they sound fun in a messy sort of way:

Dandelion Burgers from Forage Ahead

1 cup packed dandelion petals (no greens)

1 cup flour

1 egg

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped onions

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp each basil and oregano

1/8 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together. The batter will be goopy. Form into patties and pan fry in oil or butter, turning until crisp on both sides. Makes 4-5 very nutritious vegetable burgers. No, they don’t taste like hamburger, but they ain’t bad.

The old bud omelet will be first, though:

Gather one cup dandelion buds before flower color shows. Fry buds in dab of butter until they ‘pop’.
Add 4 eggs, salt and pepper.
Top with raw (young) dandelion leaves, finely cut before serving.

Dandelion recipes are all over the ‘net, and easy to find. Here are two sources to get you started: http://naturesnurtureblog.com/dandelions-friend-or-foe-with-recipes/ and http://www.eattheweeds.com/dandelions-hear-them-roar/


  1. says

    OK, here’s dandelion salad:
    About a pound of greens, before they bloom (they get bitter then)
    clean, wash, cut into easily edible bits
    Make a vinaigrette without oil and cut some hard boiled eggs into pieces
    Mix greens into vinaigrette
    Fry some bacon cubes. Pour sizzling cubes over salad.
    You can also add some boiled mashed potato to the vinaigrette but I prefer to make fried potatoes.

    Remember that in many languages dandelion is named for its effects on your bladder ;)

  2. says

    Oh, that sounds delicious! Rick does most of the cooking these days, so I’ll be sure he sees this, and copies it so it can be one of our first [real] Spring meals.

    Yeah, I think the diuretic effect of dandelions is pretty well known, but probably best to mention it. It was thought for centuries that dandelions would keep your kidneys in good working order.

  3. says

    Answering Kengi:

    I also hate the golf-course lawns. A couple of weeks ago I put black plastic over a large stretch of my back yard grass to kill it off. I plan on replacing it with native wildflowers. Hopefully all will go well.

    Best of luck! Grass can be hard to kill, but you can plant lamb’s quarters and chickweed to help supplant the grass and support the wildflowers.

  4. dakotagreasemonkey says

    I’ll be cooking Bud Omelets as soon as we get dandelions. I think I’ll try Gilliels salad, too. Young dandelions sprout most all summer, just have to nick their leaves before they flower. The other recipes are getting bookmarked.
    Now I’m hungry…

  5. says

    I’ve heard (though not tried it) that the root of the dandelion can be dried, roasted and ground to make a coffee-like drink; apparently, it was a thing during post-WWII Europe when coffee supplies were somewhat hit-and-miss for obvious reasons. I’ve been meaning to have a go at brewing up some dandelion and burdock beer at some point too… it’s truly a versatile plant.

  6. says

    Cat Mara, yes, it can. Roasted dandelion roots have also long been an addition to coffee, a la chicory root. The beer sounds fab -- Mister homebrews, I’ll pass that on.

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