Foraging: Dandelions—If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em!

Just about everyone has heard of eating dandelion greens. My mom went out and cut a dandelion salad one spring from my dad’s landing field for radio-controlled airplanes. The dandelions were so dense that in some areas there was no grass. She cut the two-inch long greens with a scissors. It’s been over 30 years and I still remember that salad! Once the dandelion greens  are more than a few inches long and the flowers begin to emerge, they become too tough and bitter for most people’s taste.

Fortunately, every part of the dandelion is edible, making it a wonderful food source for foragers.

My uncle used to make dandelion wine from the flowers, and I have eaten them dipped in a light tempura-type batter and fried.

It is the buds that I am concerned with today. The tightly closed buds of the dandelion are delicious when sautéed in a little butter. When weeding the garden at this time of the year, I set aside the big dandelions and peel back the outer rosette of leaves to reveal the tightly furled flower buds within.

The hens get the greens and the flower buds come into the house with me!

Preparing the dandelion buds is easy:

  1. Rinse off any dirt that may be clinging to the buds and set them aside to drain while the skillet heats.
  2. The butter melts quickly. Add the buds and stir fry them on medium high until they begin to puff slightly and have cooked through. They will cook quickly.
  3.  A little salt and they are ready to be eaten!

There is very little bitterness, and they taste a little like asparagus. Yum! Begonia

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