04 May 2015

Dandelion Salad


I've read for years, from dozens of sources, that dandelion greens are edible and tasty. The fact that it's a huge nuisance plant with scary-looking leaves always gave me pause. After my most recent re-re-reading of Redwall by Brian Jacques I decided to just go for it. Hubby and I would eat the leaves of the much maligned dandelion weed.

This yard work weekend, started with sketching out a plan for our narrow flower beds and kidney-shaped herb garden. That was followed by a trip to the local hardware store for my second choice of plants(, due to limited choice). Back home, hubby harvested the dandelion leaves while picking between tufts of grass and flowering red clover. After working for three or four hours on our garden plan, we were hungry enough to make our lunch salad (sorry no pics).

Salad fixins': dandelion leaves, cherry tomato, chick peas, chopped red pepper, sweet yellow corn, chopped white mushroom, and cottage cheese.

  • Dandelion Texture is somewhere between iceberg lettuce and Kale; a bit fibrous but not too much. Quite nice.
  • Dandelion Taste is surprisingly good, the flavor is smooth, mild with a slightly bitter finish. It makes me think of some aspect of strong black tea or a Merlot. Maybe it's tannins(?). Whatever it is, I'm in love with my newly discovered vegetable.

One thing we learned is that you should only harvest as many leaves as you will use immediately. The leaves wilt like crazy--refrigerated or not.