Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dande Lyin'

Current Crop
Are YOU a weed eater? Everything comes a little late in Alaska, and Dandelions are no exception. On my run this morning, I saw brilliant yellow streaked along the roads and in fields. A very welcome contrast to the inhospitable mountains and usually cold, cloudy sky. On a clear day they GLOW! Yellow is one of my favorite colors; and although most people hate the pesky non-native invaders, I think they are beautiful! Free floral landscaping!

Maybe you've heard stories from the Depression Era of Dandelion green salads as a supplemental source of veg. Maybe, you think it's WAY freaky to eat lawn veggies. Maybe it's those pesticide commercials that give 'em a bad name? Maaaybe, you should just try it!

If you've had Arugula or your basic Mustard Green lettuce, you've tasted a bitter/spicy green. Dandelion greens are very similar to Arugula and are best picked young, before the flower stalk has grown. The greens will be much more mild and tender at this stage. If there are stalks, you can also pick the smaller leaves before the bud has bloomed. The larger ones are edible, but not too palatable and certainly not the best way to introduce your taste buds to this wild forage.
Pick the young leaves (Left) not the old leaves (Right)
Pick off the blossom right HERE
Keep the green on to keep the blossom together..

There are so many things you can do with this wild burst of sunshine. The plant is entirely edible, blossoms included. You can dry the leaves or root and make tea. (Roasted Dande root tea is kind of like coffee.. to me). It will be bitter (but not as bitter as say, Golden Seal and is tasty enough with honey). It's a kind of digestive tonic (like ginger root tea). If you are interested in foraging more, check this fun slide show out.  All kinds of landscaping, edible beauties like nasturtiums. I'm hoping to harvest some rose hips soon. I'll post something yummy with those.

Don't you want to be a little bee?
Onto Dandelion Salad!
You can add anything you want to these greens. Try to balance the bitter with something sweet. I went for sweet root veggies, beets and carrots and sweet baby spinach. You could try butter crunch lettuce, a ripe tomato, pear and onion.. and maybe sprinkle in some raisins. Experiment!

Dande Lyin'
1 C Dandelion greens (chopped in half or whole)
1 C Baby spinach
1 Beet shaved thin
1/2 Carrot shaved thin
Handful of Dandelion Blossoms

Mmmm edible sunshine!

Ready to Eat!

Miso Honey Mustard Dressing:
1 Tbs Miso (I use brown rice miso-anything will work)
1 Tbs  Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2-1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp Mustard Powder or 1/4-1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (any kind really)
Any basic vinaigrette would work with this. I just wanted something tangy and sweet.

I'm pretty sure you can take it from here! Place salad in bowl. Stir dressing well, drizzle over salad.. enjoy!


  1. This sounds great! I've been reading up on wild plantain and can't wait to try it as well. Wild edibles are awesome!


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