What To Do with Dandelions

Do you hate dandelions?

I don’t. In fact, I love them.

Taraxacum officinale dandelion

Taraxacum officinale. Source: Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885 (U.S. Public Domain)

As I inspected the garden last weekend, I was thrilled to see quite a few dandelions sprouting.

Although we don’t use weedkillers, we don’t get a lot of dandelions.

That’s probably because I like to pull them. And when I do, I try to yank out the whole plant, root and all, well before their heads turn into those fluffy seed puffs. That helps keep the overall population down.

In addition to removing them where you don’t want them, pulling dandelions provides a seasonal treat that’s packed with minerals and nutrients.

If you have been reading this blog long, you know I’m a fan of wild edible plants.

I’m especially fond of dandelions, which are plentiful and trending for foodies. Over the past year, I have seen bags of dandelion greens on the shelves at Whole Foods and dandelion salads on the menus at restaurants. (I tend to gulp at the price.)

According to Whole Dog Journal, dandelions can also be beneficial for dogs.

Last weekend’s dandelion haul wasn’t massive – just about 15 young plants, none of which had flowered.

But that was enough. Cleaning dandelions takes a while, especially if you don’t plan to throw anything away.

The entire dandelion plant is edible, although the greens can be a little bitter.

I cleaned mine by soaking them three times in water and then scrubbing all of the dirt from them.

Then, I snipped their roots for roasting and gathered the greens in a bowl.

I haven’t turned my roasted roots into a liver-cleansing tea just yet, but I have gotten use from the greens.

dandelion greens

Last night, I snuck some greens between layers of cheese in a batch of nachos. I called ‘em Dandy Nachos.

And on Easter, I used the greens to garnish a batch of deviled eggs.

As promised, see below for the deviled eggs recipe. It’s one of my famous, inexact recipes, so you won’t need any measuring cups.

image

Deviled Nest Eggs

What you’ll need:

As many boiled eggs as you want (Remember, each whole egg makes two deviled eggs)

  • Wasabi mayonaise (Available at Trader Joe’s)
  • Your favorite yellow mustard
  • A handful of fresh dandelion greens
  • Capers
  • Paprika
  • Bowl and spoons for mixing

Directions:

Carefully peel your boiled eggs – I find it’s best to do this while they are still warm. Slice each egg in half and separate the yolk from the white. Gather all of the yolks in a bowl. Once you have separated all of the eggs, you can mix up your filling. Simply add the yellow mustard and wasabi mayo and begin stirring. Start with a small amount of the condiments at first – no more than a teaspoon – and taste as you go along. You will know when the taste is right for you. Garnish each egg with two or three shreds of dandelion green and one or more capers. Each egg should resemble a little bird nest with very tiny eggs. Sprinkle paprika lightly over the whole batch.

Have you ever eaten dandelions? What did you think?

About Crystal K. Wiebe

I live with two formerly wayward dogs, and helping other dogs find new homes is my passion. I recently founded the company Beer Paws to help celebrate the relationship between people and pets.

Posted on April 3, 2013, in Food, Random Life, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I can honestly say that’s I’ve never eaten a dandelion… I’m more likely to pull it up or mow over them!

  2. The first time I made dandelion/nasturtium salad my friends had a fit!

  3. I have also heard of dandelion wine!

    I love to see a field full of dandelions, I really think they are pretty!

  4. For some reason I’m obsessed with the idea of making pesto from dandelion greens this year….

  1. Pingback: Diverse Dandelions: How to Make Dandelion Tea and Coffee - Nature's Beauty Secrets Blog

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