TIME FOR DANDELIONS
Wow, I cannot believe a year has passed since we began recording Main Street Eats on Prairie Public Radio.
So here we are again, talking about dandelions; of which I have already pulled a few. Last night the temperatures dipped to 27 degrees, and it was a frosty morning on the farm. My gooseberries tiny green leaves were tipped in white sparkling frost.
My garden crocs left a trail of green between the house and the garden as they shooshed the frost off the newly-green grass. I plan to harvest dandelions as soon as I can’t feel the cold rising under my robe in the morning. Ah yes, the joy of living with the deer, pheasants and turkeys rather than people.
Dandelions are native to Eurasia, and a member of the aster family. It used to be people planted and harvested dandelions. Now, considered a weed, be cautious of harvesting this common herb from lawns or ditches that may have been sprayed with herbicide.
But harvest you should, as every part of the plant is nutritious food or powerful medicine. The dandelion is rich in nutrients, including protein, calcium, iron, and Vitamins A and C.
And on the funny side of life, if you took French as Ashley Thornberg did, you can call it by its French nickname—pissenlit, which translates into pee-the-bed. That should be a clue to its diuretic properties from potassium.
Here are just a few recipes for consuming dandelion. As I get my natural dye samples done, I will report on how it works as a dyestuff.
You can add this beverage to coffee or drink it as a coffee substitute.
Scrub roots, drain, and place on a baking sheet.
Roast at 150°F (65°C) until roots are dark and dry (about 4 hours).
Cool and grind roots with a food blender. Store in a covered jar until used.
Add one heaping teaspoon of roasted roots to 1 cup of water. Steep for 3 minutes. Strain and serve. Add cream and/or sugar to taste.
You can add this to your regular cup of coffee. Brew coffee, as usual, adding one teaspoon of roasted roots for every 6 cups of coffee. More or less root powder may be used depending on taste.
1 pound dandelion greens
1 cup cold water
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon chopped basil
1 cup cream
1 egg yolk
Wash dandelion greens in warm water to remove dirt particles. Combine with cold water in soup kettle and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Drain. Press through food mill and return to kettle. Add stock and basil and simmer 10 minutes. In separate bowl combine cream and egg yolk. Spoon ½ cup hot stock into cream mixture, blend with a whisk and return to kettle. Heat but do not boil. Garnish with croutons. (Also good cold.)
Fried Dandelion Blossoms
Cool, lightly salted water
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch pepper
Pick new dandelion blossoms (ones on short stems). Rinse in cool, lightly salted water. Cut off stem ends close to flower heads, leaving just enough to hold petals together. Roll flowers in paper towels to remove excess moisture. Make the batter by combining egg, milk, flour, salt, and pepper. Dip flowers into the mixture. Drop batter-coated blossoms into deep fryer set at 375 F. Fry until lightly browned. Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with more salt as taste dictates. Enjoy!
2 cups tightly packed dandelion leaves, well-rinsed and dried
1 dozen large basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 cup lightly toasted hazelnuts (skins removed), or toasted almonds, pine nuts, or walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, pulse together dandelion leaves, basil, garlic, and nuts. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the motor running, add olive oil and process until smooth paste forms. Pulse in cheese if you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
SOURCE: Dandelion Recipes: A Wonderful, Edible Weed | The Old .... https://www.almanac.com/content/dandelion-recipes-wonderful-edible-weed
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.