DISCLAIMER – the dandelion pictures are not mine. The dandelion recipes are not mine. The desire to cook with dandelions is not mine.
If you try to follow any of the ideas below, be sure to correctly identify the plants you are harvesting, and be sure to use only dandelions that are free from pesticides or other chemicals.
My Dad has challenged me to help him do something positive with his dandelions crop. You see, he’s a horticulturist, and it’s what he does.
The problem is, he’s retired now, and the dandelions are growing unwanted, taking over his yard.
Here’s a recipe I came across on this website for making Dandelion Wine:
- 4 cups (250 g) dandelion flowers picked around noon on a sunny day
- 2 untreated lemons (without the juice)
- 2 untreated oranges (without the juice)
- 1 T (15 g) white wine yeast, dry
- 16 cups (4 liters) boiled water
- 3 lbs (1.5 kg) honey (dandelion honey, if possible)
Pour the boiling water on the flowers. Dilute the honey in the mixture. Cut the citrus fruit into cubes and add to the mixture. Allow to ferment in an earthenware jar or in a large glass pitcher in a dark location at 68 F degrees (20 C degrees) for 3 weeks and stir with a large wooden spatula every 2 to 3 days. When fermentation is complete, strain using a clean cheesecloth. Bottle the wine and seal with a cork.
Age in a cool area for 9 months.
This wine is excellent for the gallbladder, for treating gout and uric acid, and is highly recommended for a prediabetic condition.
Drink half a glass before meals: it is delicious, has an original taste and adds zing!
Note: For those who are lazy, here is the modified recipe: Macerate 1 cup (60 g) flowers in 4 cups (1 liter) white wine for 1 month. Strain and sweeten to taste.
The website also gives a recipe for Dandelion Tea:
Prepare the herbal dandelion tea in this way, first, boil a quart of water in a pot, slowly reduce the heat and then add 2 tbsp. of cleaned and chopped fresh dandelion roots to the water. Let the water simmer for a minute, keep it covered during that time, and finally, remove the pot off the source of heat, following this, add two tbsp. of freshly picked and chopped dandelion leaves. Let the leaves steep into the liquid for forty minutes. After which, the liquid can be strained, one can benefit by drinking two cups of the herbal dandelion tea every day.
This website encourages you to make Dandelion Fritters:
- First of all I love gathering the dandelion flowers – just the tops for fritters. They are easy to pick and so bright and cheery on a sunny day. Usually, I want to pick more than I need, just because the gathering is so fun. Do pick them in the sunshine when they are open, and when you have time to make the fritters right after gathering.
- Bring your basket of flowers inside, find a bowl, and mix together one egg and one cup of milk. Stir in a cup of flour and your fritter batter is ready to go. (If you like your fritters sweet you can add a little maple syrup or honey.)
- Now, prepare a skillet on the stove with gently warmed olive oil – keep it over medium heat.
- Take one of the flowers and hold it by the greens at the base of the flower petals. Dip the petals into the batter and twirl until the flower is covered.
- Drop it into the skillet, flower side down. Continue dipping and dropping flowers, checking the first ones every once in a while to see if they are brown. When they’ve lightly browned, flip them over and brown them on the other side.
- When they’re brown on both sides remove them from the skillet and drain the excess oil on paper towel.
- For a sweet treat, drizzle them with maple syrup, honey, jam, or powdered sugar. For savory fritters try dipping in mustard or adding some savory herbs to the batter.
I must say, I have read that the dandelion flowers are even more bitter than the greens, so I would be VERY curious to hear if anyone makes and ENJOYS the recipe above!
Also, who knew? This website says “According to new research being done in Ohio, dandelion root sap could be made into a rubber of equal quality to traditional rubber from trees, at a lower cost.”
The only other thing that I personally enjoy that could either be ingested or be sap is this:
Here I am, back in 1982 – enjoying Retsina during a Tarpon Springs, Florida camping trip. Look at my very large wine cup. Ha!
Dad, maybe you should just forget about the Dandelion Wine, and just enjoy some Retsina!
I can offer nothing more. Anyone out there have any more ideas for dandelions?