Who would have ever thought that the beautiful yellow flower growing among the weeds or right in our backyards, was actually an edible herb. Dandelion, or Taraxacum, are very common in the Alabama area and have been used for several years in medicinal purposes, teas & food recipes.
Originally derived from the French word “dent-de-leon” (meaning “tooth of the lion”), Dandelion have certainly made their place among the kitchen and in medicine. The bitter greens growing from the plant have been used in raw salads,Teas or cooked like spinach, in several recipes.
A great source of beta-carotene (vitamin A), Dandelion leaves are one of nature’s most abundant greens. They also provide a plethora of other essential minerals that are crucial to healthy body function, such as: phosphorus, calcium and thiamine.
Below are some recipes that are sure to help you get the most from your Backyard SuperFood, the Dandelion:
SAUTÉED DANDELION GREENS WITH EGGS
Friendly Tip: These greens can be very bitter, so for this particular dish it’s a good rule of thumb to briefly blanch it in salted boiling water before preparing this recipe. Also sauteing Leeks then cooking them with the Greens, adds sweetness and a nice flavor to balance this dish out.
4 cups chopped dandelion greens, thick stems removed (about 1-2 large bunches)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, clarified butter
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
4 large eggs
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- In a large pot, bring the salt water to a boil. Next add the chopped dandelion greens and blanch them for a period of 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the greens and press out as much liquid as possible with a spoon, preferably wooden.
- Melt about ¼ of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat, sautée the leeks until tender or about 5 minutes, make sure to occasionally stir the Leeks to prevent sticking . Reduce the heat to medium low and add the greens a little at a time, until wilted or limp, then add more.
- When all of the greens are wilted, crack the eggs into the pan on top of the greens then top with cheese then cook the eggs uncovered until the egg whites are set. You may also use a poached or a sunny side up egg to top the greens, if you prefer.
Friendly Tip: For this recipe it’s best to use the leaves that are tender, and therefore should be picked before the plant blooms. These can be served raw or slightly cooked, there may still be some bitterness but not as much. I would suggest maybe adding some bacon piece, cherry tomatoes or chicken for a little extra zing to compliment this nice vinaigrette recipe with this salad.
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic scapes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice,
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt,
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar,
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil,
8 cups dandelion greens (large leaves torn in half)
- In a bowl, combine garlic scapes, lemon juice, salt, and sugar then whisk until well combined. Drizzle in oil in a slow steady stream, while rapidly whisking the mixture until everything is completely emulsified.
- Finally place the Dandelion Greens in a salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over greens, add other ingredients to the salad (if preferred) and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Friendly Tip: Did you know that Dandelion tea act as a natural diuretic — meaning it will gently help expel extra fluid in the body by causing drinkers to urinate more. This happens because the Dandelion Tea causes the kidneys to release more sodium into the urine, which ultimately reduces pressure on the blood vessel wall, as the sodium removes water from the blood. If your is to lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar or improve eczema; this would be a great natural option.
Just a heads up, this Tea does have a bit of a bitter profile, however it is palatable on its own but adding a little honey to it should sweeten it and won’t interfere with the Dandelion’s natural health benefits.
1/2 cup dandelion all parts
4 cups water boiled
- Remove all dirt and debris from the Dandelion then place Dandelion in a mug, using at least a ¼ of the plant (packed in the mug) per serving.
- Pour the boiling water over Dandelion then cover with a lid and allow to steep for 20 minutes or 3hr – overnight if you want a stronger brew.
- Strain the brew, add Honey to sweeten or drink as is.