Spring has arrived and February is the perfect time to forage for Dandelions. This common garden plant is often undervalued and underused. Popping up in gardens, fields, forests and sidewalks, there is no easier plant to forage for in Springtime. A member of the sunflower family, this yellow headed plant is not just a colourful addition to salads, it is also a rich source of vitamins and antioxidents. Did you know that the green leaves of Dandelions are a rich source of Vitamin K which is great for strenghtening the bones and Vitamin A which is good for your skin? So what are you waiting for, get your gloves and go for a picking adventure in your own backyard. The best thing about using dandelions in your dishes is that the whole plant is edible so there is no need for waste.
Here are some of our favourite uses for the delightful dandelion:
Fresh and simple, a dandelion salad is an easy way to brighten up any bland green salad bowl. Simply wash the dandelions, pull off the yellow heads and pluck the petals of 5 or 6 dandelions into your salad bowl. Add rocket leaves, chopped up garlic cloves and some cherry tomatoes for extra punch. Mix well, add a dash of good olive oil and serve.
Herbal teas are all the rage and dandelion tea is no different. Check out our wild winter tea recipes to try at home.
Sauteed Dandelion Greens
This is an easy, healthy option as a side for any meal. Surprise your friends by serving up some sauteed dandelions at your next dinner party. Simply soak the leaves in boiling water, drain the pot and leave to the side. Now heat a tablespoon full of olive oil in a pan, add three grated garlic cloves, one red chilli and a finely chopped onion. Fry until the onion is soft (4 – 5 minutes). Now add the dandelion leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Dandelion Green Salad
What you will need: A handful of dandelion leaves, a handful of wild garlic, scallions, fresh basil, lemon juice, sugar and olive oil. Combine the lemon juice, oil and sugar and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Leave to the side. Now loosely chop the dandelion leaves, wild garlic, scallions and basil. Mix all ingredients. Now gently pour the lemon dressing over the salad leaves.
If you are looking for alternatives to your tasty cupboard jams why not try this sweet and sour dandelion Jelly. It lasts up to two weeks in the fridge and goes perfectly with any cracker. We found this great recipe with only a few key ingredients on the Genius Kitchen site. Have fun!
We found an easy recipe for a tasty dandelion risotto by Sanjida O’Connell. This one is worth a try.
Now that you have some ideas why not experiment with your very own patch of dandelions. Enjoy living fruitfully this Spring. Happy Picking All!
For more foraging tips in Spring and to share your dandelion recipes contact the Flying Pickers.