View Full Version : dandelions

Dec 5th 2009, 06:33 AM
I've always wanted to make hot bacon dressing dandelion salad.

Now I see that johneyseed catalog had dandelion seeds for sale, mentioning their use in salads, etc. So my question is....are all dandelions plants the same? Is the stuff growing in the backyard the same as others grow, harvest and eat?

Any dandelion salad people out there? Any good recipes?

Thank you.

Dec 5th 2009, 07:54 AM
I'm no expert, but I think all dandelion species are edible. (Please do research before using this as gospel!) The trick is to get the leaves before the plant has flowered for the best taste.

I have harvested backyard dandelion roots for medicinal teas. I must admit it tasted God-awful, and I probably did something wrong, but I'm still here to tell about it! :)

I have to laugh at someone actually selling dandelion seeds for money. More power to them.

Mama Beek
Dec 5th 2009, 06:39 PM
I think dandelion like lots of other things are a little different in different areas. Back in Missouri they were sweeter and the stems were different. Here they are stronger tasting, the flowers even have a bit of a slightly bitter taste to them and the greens are definitely stronger tasting. I haven't seen any varieties of dandelion yet that weren't edible but that ain't saying alot.

The tea is much easier to take if you make it carefully. I just take a quart canning jar, use about a half cup of fresh leaves (half as much if they are dried) and cover with boiling water. Put the lid on and let it stand overnight. The next morning strain out the leaves and drink.... I prefer it with chamomile and/or peppermint and HONEY.

You can make a syrup from the flowers that is really tasty and makes a great topping for toast or sponge cake or pound cake or drizzled onto hot biscuts. Use 2 great big handfuls of fresh flowers, put them into a quart of cold water and bring to a boil. Cover it and let it sit overnight. The next day strain and press out the flowers, add 5 cups of sugar and a lemon (with the peel and all). Bring it all to a boil, then cut the heat back and simmer until it's the right consistency. Take out the lemon and keep it in the fridge in a glass container.

There are recipes all over the place for dandelion jelly and vinegar and fritters made from the flowers (they are so good!). I've even had dandelion pie.

My favorite way to eat the greens is either in a wilted salad with leaf lettuce and spinach or raw out in the yard between chores. The wilted salad is easy, just pick your greens before the flowers are opened on the plant and wash them well, pull off any hard spots or tough places because you only want the tender parts. Toss them into a big bowl with baby spinach leaves and leaf lettuce if you like it that way. Fry about 6 pieces of bacon extra crisp but not burnt. Crumble the bacon over the greens and pour about 3 tablespoons of the grease into a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey, add 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and whisk it all together. pour over the salad. You can top it off with sliced boiled eggs if you want to and croutons. In the spring I can't get enough of this stuff!!

Be careful if you aren't used to eating greens! If you think fish oil gets you scootin' just go slow with the dandelion ;)

They are really good for you though, full of minerals and vitamins your body needs. Dandelion greens help you metabolize fats and nourish your brain, heart and nervous system. They feed everything from your hair to your bones and help build healthy blood cells.

Come on spring!

Dec 5th 2009, 07:11 PM
You people can have all that green rabbit feed. Just give me good ol' meat and taters. :P :lol:

Mama Beek
Dec 5th 2009, 08:44 PM
Oh, yeah.... they go great with a big pot of beans with a ham hock and fried taters :P

Dec 5th 2009, 09:46 PM
I am with you Iddee, salad is what supper eats!! :lol:


Dec 6th 2009, 06:35 PM
Another meat and taters guy here, although I do like a healthy smothering of mushrooms and onions on my slab of beef :thumbsup: Does that count?

Dec 7th 2009, 09:55 PM
Here's some trivia for you. I heard an interview, on the radio, with the actress Leslie Caron. You are probably thinking, "Who the heck is Leslie Caron?" She's the French girl that was in all those Hollywood musicals like GIGI and American in Paris. OK, so what does this have to do with dandelions, you ask? She said that she was a young girl during WWII. To keep from starving, during the German occupation, she and her family ate the dandelions that grew around the railroad tracks. That's it, end of story. :wave: