Taraxacum is my word of the day. As in dandelions. Trending now is dandelion wine, salad, and fritters. The roots have even been used to make a caffeine-free ‘coffee.’ A closer look at traditional ingredients will find it listed in in the ingredients for things like root beer and other soft drinks. With all the hype, I had to find out for myself. My girls and I spent several hours lazily gathering flowers and leaves throughout the sunny afternoon. We were careful to pick only tender young leaves (mature leaves are tough and bitter), and nip off the stem at the base of each leaf.
The resulting salad was condimented by Dad’s Wonderful Mayonnaise (I will ask my dad if we can share his recipe sometime!). Everyone ate a fair amount and seemed to enjoy it. Archangela’s eyes were waaaay bigger than her stomach! But she put a good dent in it before deciding she had enough.
I saved all the extra salad for a delicious omelet the next morning. I simply tossed into the blender 4 eggs, salt, pepper, and the leftover leaves and flowers. (Blending eliminated the ‘chewy’ factor, which my toddler-baby doesn’t like so much.) I fried the mixture in a greased skillet on low for about 20 minutes, covered. Yummy! Great for any time of the day. Yes, you can serve omelet for dinner 🙂
The other recipes are definitely on my list to try. Fritters sound amazing!
Nutrition: Dandelions are a free source of vitamins A, K, C, calcium, potasium, iron, and manganese. They are also a source of free exercise and vitamin D, if you count the time spent gathering the plant in the beautiful sunny spring weather.
As a garden companion, dandelions are great for enriching the soil with minerals and nitrogen. If you have fruit trees, be sure to let the dandelions grow unhindered, as they help fruit ripen.
Now, I just hope my neighbors don’t get no crazy notions to spray any harmful chemicals anywhere near our beautiful dandelions! If they do, I will have to privately lose my temper, then regain my composure and tell them in a Minnesota Nice way never to do that again!