50 plus dandelion greens recipes

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50 plus dandelion greens recipes


50 plus dandelion greens recipes

Dandelion greens recipes use these wild and free spring greens that you can harvest in any unsprayed yard (or purchase by the bundle at the health food store).

When people think of dandelions, the bright flowers might be the first image to leap to mind, but in reality, all parts of the dandelion are edible from the bright flowers to leaves and stems, right down to the root.

The leaves of the dandelion plant, often simply referred to as dandelion greens, are especially nutritious. Research has shown that dandelion greens contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, folate and potassium as well as vitamins A and C. Some attest the plant may even be healthier than spinach or broccoli.

The leaves of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) are jagged, green, and occasionally red, growing from a hollow stem. When cut, the stem exudes a milky sap that actually contains latex – as a result, dandelion greens should be approached with extreme caution by anyone with a latex allergy. 

For the rest of us, these healthy greens can be eaten raw in salads or used as cooked greens (in place of store-bought greens like spinach or kale).

This post is part of a series on eating every part of the dandelion, from the tip of the root to the fragrant honey-flavored petals at the top.  These plants really are edible, medicinal, and useful…and they should be treasured (not sprayed).

Harvesting Dandelion Greens

Coming into sight at the beginning of spring, dandelions are a pleasant vernal green to collect. Look for dandelion greens in late March and early April, bypassing those found in lawns and fields for greens found in rich soil and gardens.

As always, when picking dandelion greens, be sure to do so from a safe location, free of pesticides, chemical run-off or herbicides.

Like many greens, younger leaves will possess a more mild flavor and softer texture, while larger leaves will be stronger-flavored, tougher, and have more bitter characteristics. Young dandelion leaves are best for raw uses. If planning on cooking the greens, older leaves may be collected.

To forage for dandelion greens, keep your eyes out for young plants in the spring. Harvest the leaves with scissors or shears and wash just before use. Leaves can be harvested in the spring, and in many locations again in the fall, before the plants flower.

Dandelion Greens Recipes

Young dandelion greens harbor an earthy flavor that is slightly tangy like spiced arugula and refreshingly bitter like kale. Once the leaves age, the bitterness increases and the leaves will need to be blanched and cooked to mellow out the flavor. Use fresh, raw dandelion greens anywhere you might use lettuce, like in sandwiches and salads. Older leaves can be softened by blanching and then sauteéing, baking or wilting like spinach.

To prepare dandelion leaves for culinary use, many choose to remove the woody ends of the stems, especially for adding to salads. The best way to clean dandelion greens is to rinse them under cold water with the help of a colander or salad spinner and pat the leaves dry with a few paper towels. To store the greens, wrap them in a damp paper towel and seal in a plastic bag for refrigerator storage.

Fresh Dandelion Greens Salad Recipes

Dandelion greens make a splendid salad base. Their peppery flavor pairs well with a variety of dressings and other accouterments. Try an effortless lemon-dijon vinaigrette with dandelion greens and a nutty cheese like pecorino.

Pair dandelion greens with summer strawberries and balsamic vinaigrette or a protein-packed egg and bacon salad. Tarts are another spectacular opportunity to toss in a few dandelion leaves. Combine with the flavors of wild garlic, nettles, feta and farro wheat.

Simple Cooked Dandelion Greens

As a pot herb, dandelion greens are best when sauteed with a bit of oil until just wilted.  They can then be topped with a dash of salt, and something acidic to bring out their flavor (and manage bitterness if they were harvested too late). 

A splash of balsamic vinegar is excellent, but a bit of lemon juice works well too.

Dandelion Greens Pasta (& Pesto)

Make healthy homemade dandelion noodles with the help of nourishing dandelion greens, or simply add leaves to your favorite pasta dish. Combine dandelion greens with spicy fettuccine, cheesy penne, orecchiette with pancetta and butternut squash, or a bold dish with chicken sausage and garlic. 

And, of course, you can’t forget homemade dandelion green pesto

Dandelion Greens Breakfast Recipes

Add some nutritious power to your breakfast dishes by slipping dandelion greens into the mix. Sauté dandelion greens with leeks and pair with eggs and feta or bake into egg muffins with red, pepper, cheese and mushrooms. Toss dandelion greens into an omelet with shallots and red onion or sample dandelion greens in a vegetable or chicken broth with poached eggs for a quick, easy breakfast.

Breakfast quiches are another fantastic way to work in some dandelion greens. The aptly titled gardener’s revenge quiche can be made with all sorts of edible weeds including dandelion greens, lambs’ quarters and nettles. Additional options include a crustless quiche with einkorn flour, pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheese, or a classic quiche with mushrooms, onions and gruyere cheese.

For faster breakfast fare, whip up toast and top with dandelion greens. Embellish with a creamy spread, radishes, red onions or a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Dandelion Greens Tarts and Quiche

These bright spring greens work really well with eggs, both for breakfast, and in tarts and quiches.

I particularly love adding sauteed dandelion greens to a simple spring quiche with bacon and cheddar, but these recipes take it up a notch.

Dandelion Greens Soup Recipes

Fresh dandelion greens can be added to a variety of soups, salads and other appetizing dishes.

Add fresh leaves to a tortellini soup with basil and chicken broth or try a creamy blended concoction featuring dandelion greens, oregano and potatoes. Pair dandelion greens with cabbage and veggies, red lentils and coconut, or simple tomato soup for more ideas – or try a revitalizing stew of bone broth, dandelion greens and ancho chilies. 

Dandelion Greens Snack Recipes

For the in-between, entertain the use of dandelion greens to build an assortment of snacks. Top grilled bread with cooked dandelion greens for an open-faced sandwich flavored with oregano, garlic, feta and lemon. Try utilizing dandelion greens as a base for pesto, combining with garlic, parmesan and chopped walnuts or pumpkin seeds.

Even more appetizing snacks include baked dandelion greens or dandelion snacking chips. These light, crispy morsels are so much better than nutritiously-empty potato chips. For more ideas, consider frying dandelion greens to serve with corn cob pepper jelly or adding dandelion greens to both flatbreads and pizza. These shareable snacks will leave your guests eager for more!

Dandelion Greens Side Dish Recipes

Dandelion greens don’t have to be at the center of every meal. Sometimes a savory side dish is enough to satiate. To make use of dandelions laterally, try a dandelion greens sauté with bacon and raisins or a Lebanese-style side dish of tender dandelion greens with caramelized onions in a lemon-garlic dressing. Dandelion greens potato salad is great for accompanying barbecues while beets with pecan and dandelion greens can partner with all sorts of heartier dishes.

For easy side dishes, test out simple sautéed dandelion greens cooked with olive oil and seasoned with garlic powder, pepper and parmesan. For a spicier version, test out dandelion greens with capicola and crushed red pepper flakes or try a Korean take on these wilted greens seasoned with fish sauce and Korean pepper powder. Stir fries are another marvelous choice – try pairing them with salty pancetta or cream-ify greens with potatoes and cheese.

Dandelion Greens Drink Recipes

Wondering if any drinks make use of dandelion greens? Several do! All parts of the dandelion are great for beverage-making. Dandelion petals make lovely tea, dandelion roots can make dandelion root coffee and dandelion greens can make healthy drinkable fuel. Fling some dandelion greens into a variety of smoothies, from banana and berry-fueled beverages to tropical pineapple and coconut concoctions. 

Additionally, dandelion greens can be juiced along with apples, ginger root and a large pineapple for a nutritious juice. Looking to detox? Try a cold-pressed, raw-vegan detox juice made from celery, kale, citrus and dandelion greens. And if you’ve got whole dandelions growing nearby, consider making dandelion lemonade with dandelion tops, leaves and root all included. 

You can also shake things up with a dandelion greens mocktail. Vibrant lime, sweet clementine and slightly bitter dandelion greens are a sensational combination.

Cultured & Fermented Dandelion Greens

Curious about fermenting dandelion greens? Dandelion buds can make tasty dandelion capers and bright blossoms can be transformed into dandelion wine, but what about the greens? You can ferment dandelion greens and other wild edibles in brine for just 5 to 7 days before they are ready. Even stems can be enjoyed – just ferment dandelion stems in a brine of salt, coriander, allspice, peppercorn and mustard seeds and add to sandwiches or mix into vegetable dishes.

For more options, experiment with dandelion “krautchi.” A blend between sauerkraut and kimchi, this mixture is delicious with noodles, in salads or tossed with lentils. Lastly, be sure to try dandelion kimchi made with ginger, chili, fish sauce, scallions and bell pepper.

Preserving Dandelion Greens

Granted, dandelion greens are best for picking in such a short window; preservation may sometimes be necessary. The two top methods for preserving dandelion greens are freezing and dehydration. 

To freeze dandelion greens, blanch and submerge in ice water to stop cooking. Drain the water and store in freezer containers. These frozen greens will lose much of their crispness so are best added to soups and cooked dishes once thawed.

To dehydrate dandelion greens, rinse leaves and pat dry. Use either a dehydrator or oven to crisp up and store in an airtight container once fully dry. For more tips and outlines, check out the resources below!



By Ashley Adamant

Thank you for visiting Practical Self Reliance!  I’m so glad you stopped by, and I hope I can help you on your journey toward self-reliant living.  Come by anytime for practical advice, encouragement and a lot of how-to.

Our ducks free ranging around the garlic bed in spring.

I’m Ashley…a homesteader, homeschooler, home-fermenter and home-body.  I love taking in a good book almost as much as I love lumberjacking, foraging and salt curing a ham.  When I’m not tending the littles you’ll most likely find me in the woods trying to identify some form of plant or fungal life.

Wild foraged alpine strawberries found in Vermont.

My goal is to help motivate and inspire you to take steps toward self-reliance today.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re living in a small apartment in the city, or out on the land in rural America.  Baby steps or big leaps, it’s your choice.

 

I live on 30 acres in rural Vermont along with my husband and two young children.  Over the years we’ve raised just about everything including goats, pigs, chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits and bees.  These days our efforts concentrate on perennial agriculture, foraging and mushrooms.

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(Source: practicalselfreliance.com; March 3, 2024; https://tinyurl.com/3rc6wcf4)