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Celebrate Dandelions!

Celebrate Dandelions!

Of all the herb-to-weed stories, dandelion’s is by far the most dramatic. This remarkable herb was considered a necessity of life until recently. As a food, beverage stock, medicine, and dietary supplement, dandelion is unrivalled in the plant kingdom. Indeed, no other genus has stepped forward to fill the vacuum in the century and a half since dandelion’s fall. Thriving in all but the most extreme climates, with versatile reproductive capabilities that ensure survival, dandelion is everything humanity could wish for in a crop.

From healer of the sick and feeder of the hungry, dandelion has been reduced to that blackest of suburban blackguards, an invader of lawns. Too bad. Its wine is known to taste like “distilled sunshine!” Here are some dandelion recipes to inspire you to save and savor your dandelions:

Dandelion Appetizers
A healing plate of either of these recipes, served with toothpicks or just eaten with the fingers, is a real crowd-pleaser. The blossom should be as fresh as possible, with all traces of the bitter, milk-oozing stem removed. (The green calyx is less problematic and holds the flower together.) Rinse the flowers just before cooking and shake off the excess water.

Sauteed Dandelions
MAKES ABOUT TWO DOZEN

1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon each thyme, marjoram, sage, and paprika
Salt to taste
24 dandelion blossoms
3 tablespoons oil

Thoroughly blend the dry ingredients and spread the mixture on a dinner plate. Place the plate and the blossoms near the stove.

Swirl the oil into a frying pan and heat over medium heat, until a pinch of flour sizzles and browns.

Use a fork to roll five or six dandelion blossoms in the flour mixture. (They should be dewy from rinsing, but not wet.) Then drop them into the hot oil. Saute lightly until golden, generally a minute or so.

Turn the fried blossoms onto newspapers or paper towels and pop them into a warm oven.

Repeat with the rest of the blossoms, replenishing the oil as necessary. Serve hot.

Southwestern Style Dandelion Poppers
MAKES ABOUT TWO DOZEN

½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup flour
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon each ground cayenne pepper and chili powder
Salt to taste
1 egg, beaten
24 dandelion blossoms
3 tablespoons oil
Lime juice

Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly and spread the mixture on a dinner plate. Place the beaten egg in a shallow bowl, then place the egg, the plate with the cornmeal mixture, and the blossoms near the stove.

Swirl the oil into a frying pan and heat over medium heat, until a pinch of flour sizzles and browns.

Use a fork to roll five or six dandelion blossoms in the egg, then in the cornmeal mixture, and drop them into the hot oil. Fry the blossoms until crisp and golden, generally a minute or so.

Turn the fried blossoms onto newspapers or paper towels and pop them into a warm oven.

Repeat with the rest of the blossoms, replenishing the oil as necessary.

Sprinkle lime juice over the fried blossoms and serve hot.

Read more: Nature, Lawns & Gardens

Adapted from “The Neighborhood Forager,” by Robert K. Henderson (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2000). Copyright (c) 2000 by Robert K. Henderson. Reprinted by permission of Chelsea Green Publishing.
Adapted from “The Neighborhood Forager,” by Robert K. Henderson (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2000).

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

Go to the Source

The Neighborhood Forager

A guide for the wild food gourmet.buy now

107 comments

+ add your own
1:16PM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

10:39AM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

wow... might give it a try

6:21PM PDT on Oct 12, 2011

Thanks for the great recipes! I just finished reading another article on here about dandelions...how apropos!

2:05PM PDT on Jun 29, 2011

thanks! Cant wait to try! i sure hope i like dandlions as much as my guinea pigs and tortoise do.

9:09PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Those are such wonderful ideas! I agree dandilions are not given the credit they deserve. I am pro-dandilion, anyone else?

6:09PM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

I used to blow them when I was a young girl, just so we could find out what time it was...so silly...my rabbit loves them..

7:42PM PDT on Jun 7, 2010

Thanks... a friend makes coffee from the dandelion roots

8:23AM PDT on Jul 5, 2008

No longer just a week

2:38PM PDT on Aug 19, 2007

Several of you asked re. Dandelion wine, and while there may be many recipes out there, here's a few good ones! Let us know how it turns out!
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/dandelio.asp

7:55PM PDT on Aug 17, 2007

I used to have the recipe for the wine... but have not been able to find it... any help?

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