The oft-maligned dandelion has taken a bum rap in the American diet. What a shame! This steadfast and happy plant offers amazing nutrition and medicinal benefits, and can be as tasty as greens can be. Try this recipe for Cream of Dandelion Soup and elevate dandelions from troublesome weeds to celebrated greens.
There is a traditional soup in France, creme de pissenlits, which balances dandelion’s spiciness and subtle bitterness with other savory flavors. It is delicious, and in my opinion is the perfect way to eat dandelion greens. The traditional French recipe uses Dijon mustard. I think it adds some lovely depth, but you may prefer it without.
See Eating Dandelions for more information about harvesting and preparing dandelions.
2 pounds (about 6 cups) dandelion greens, trimmed and washed
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock
2 large leeks, white and light parts only, cleaned and sliced
1 carrot, cleaned and diced
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dandelion buds and/or flower petals for garnish
1. If using more mature or very bitter tasting greens, blanch them in a pot of boiling salted water, then drain and squeeze out the excess water, chop and set aside.
2. Heat butter or oil in a large pot over medium high heat, add greens, carrot and leeks and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes.
3. Add stock and simmer for about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and whisk in milk, cook stirring frequently, until slightly thickened.
4. Puree mix in a tightly-covered blender until smooth, taking care with the hot liquid. Season with salt and pepper, and add Dijon if you like.
5. Serve in bowls and garnish with flowers or buds.