Dandelion Recipes: A Wonderful, Edible Weed

Make a Meal of This Common Flower!

April 11, 2019
Dandelion Field V2
Pixabay

Did you know that dandelions can be used in cooking? Instead of mowing them down, harvest them for wine, jelly, or a variety of side dishes! Here’s a selection of dandelion recipes to try.

A History of Dandelion Delicacies

Native to Eurasia, this humble member of the aster family has traveled far and wide. Believe it or not, the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) was not always thought of as a weed. Cultures around the world thought of the dandelion as a “common herb” and have used every part of the plant as both nutritious food and powerful medicine. 

The dandelion is rich in nutrients, including protein, calcium, iron, and Vitamins A and C.

One of the plant’s common nicknames in French—pissenlit (pee-the-bed)—attests to dandelion’s use in traditional healing cultures as a valuable diuretic agent (rich in potassium).

Dandelions

Dandelion Recipes

Dandelions are good for digestion and may ease rheumatism or liver problems. They can be eaten whole or divided up. Young dandelion greens can be tossed in salads and young leaves can be cooked like spinach. Leaves should be gathered before the plant blooms as they will become increasingly bitter and tough. Learn more about gathering, cleaning, and cooking with dandelions.

Note: Only harvest dandelions from areas where no pesticides or other chemicals have been used.

Here are several recipes to try:

Eat Your Greens

Dandelions make an excellent side dish to any meal. Try one of these with your next summer dinner:

For something spreadable, try Dandelion Jelly or Dandelion Pesto.

Dandelion Jelly. Photo by minadezhda/Shutterstock.
Dandelion Jelly. Photo by minadezhda/Shutterstock.

Dandelion Drinks

To wash those down, try a “spirit” of spring, like Pink Dandelion Wine or Dent-De-Lion Wine. Dandelions have been used to make these brandy-like drinks for centuries.

For a refreshingly different brew in the morning, try Dandelion Root Coffee.

Do you cook with dandelions? Share your recipes in the comments below!

Tags

2020 Almanac Calendar Club

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

EYE OF THE BEHOLDER

Many, many years ago a family moved into my brothers' neighborhood on Long Island, N.Y. The husband told my brother that one of the reasons they had chosen that particular house was because of the hundreds of beautiful, golden flowers growing in the yard. It didn't take long before neighbors (not my brother, the son of a savvy, old Italian) enlightened them to their "weed infestation" and they were shopping for a lawn company to eradicate the now noxious dandelions. Go figure!

Can I grow Dandelions away from my lawn

Could I start seedlings from the Dandelion Puffs (White) so I can have a clean product to harvest?

dandelion seeds

Yes, you can grow more dandelions from the white puff balls. The ball is made of several single-seeded fruits called achenes, which are each attached to a filament with a feathery tuft on the end. Separate out the small achenes and plant individually. (Just to be safe, select a dandelion that has not been exposed to chemicals or pollutants.) Be sure that you are choosing seeds from an actual dandelion, as there are several lookalikes. Also, if you prefer, there are cultivated gourmet forms of dandelions that you can find at mail order seed companies and other sources that are bred for their larger, less bitter leaves. Hope this helps!

Pretty Dandelions!

I love the bright yellow polka dots in the yard. I think the weed killer manufacturers have worked really, really hard to convince people that dandelions are weeds. They don't harm a yard at all.

pretty dandees

Harriet , personnally I have ethical difficulties to pick dandelionflowerheads . I too think they are beautifull and , considering the speed in which the bees are dwindling away , much needed to feed these wonderful creatures when winter has ended !

By the way , on my walk with the dog this morning , noticed that the rubbers that once were used to tie 'alnus'trees to the supporting pole , but in the mean time became more of a corset than a help ,
i noticed that some enlightened being cut those rubbers - and the trees free !
Good thing that it 's not only mE doing that ;op
springwishes

Dandelion

Thanks for the great article.

Dandelion syrup is our

Dandelion syrup is our favorite (my youngest would rather have this than maple any day)

Send recipe.

Send recipe.

can you send me a recipe for

can you send me a recipe for dandelion syrup please?

Dandelion Syrup

would love to have that recipe!!!!

Dandelion Syrup Recipe

I would LOVE to have your recipe for this syrup!! I've never eaten flowers or "weeds" but this sounds great!

Cleaning dandelion, even

Cleaning dandelion, even after field cleaning, can be a chore. I devised an easy method. Wash you washing machine good with bleach. After a thorough rinse, put your dandelion in and run it on two short cold cycles and rinse, spin dry. It comes out perfect for eating or bagging for the refrigerator. We serve with a hot bacon dressing and diced hard boiled eggs.

Rodity's Greek restaurant in

Rodity's Greek restaurant in Chicago makes a wonderful side dish called "horta;" boiled dandelion greens with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon. So simple, so healthy, so very, very, very delicious!!!

A traditional Easter soup in

A traditional Easter soup in our Italian family is Dandelion soup. I make a chicken soup and then to that I add chicken meat, tiny meatballs, carrots, dandelion greens, escarole, cabbage and kale. Also important is the coarse ground pepper and salt. It looks much like an Italian Wedding soup. It is very yummy and very good for you!

That sounds delicious! Thank

That sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing!