Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dandelion Greens

While weeding my garden the other day, pulling up dandelions and tossing them to the side (I usually throw weeds on the lawn and then “mulch” them – aka run them over with the lawn mower), I had a duh moment: don’t mulch the dandelions – eat them!

I gathered up all of those handy weeds, twisted the greens off the roots, and brought them inside. They got a thorough rinsing to get the mud off, and we were ready to go! I lightly steamed them in a pan of water (see photo) and enjoyed as a side dish with dinner.

Rather, I kind of enjoyed them.

Dandelion greens sound so great – they’re free, really good for you, free, easy to procure, free… But they still taste like dandelions. Which, as any kid can attest (because all of us ate those pretty yellow flowers at one point or another, right?) they’re awfully bitter.

The rest of my dandelion bounty stayed in the fridge for a few days (ahem, a week). I wanted to like them. I wanted to eat them. But not so much. (In case you were wondering, hubby wouldn’t go anywhere near them – they’re green after all – and Max doesn’t quite have the teeth for them.)

But, you know what makes dandelion greens taste like ham? A ham bone. Soup to the rescue!

A ham bone from the freezer, misc. veggies from the fridge, half a jar of leftover spaghetti sauce, leftover broth, a few potatoes, and those dandelion greens.

YUM. Ham flavored dandelion greens are so much better than steamed. I bet I could even get hubby to eat dandelions if they taste of ham. I have another ham bone in the fridge, maybe I’ll give it a try.

Have you tried dandelion greens? Or flowers for that matter? How do you make them tasty?


~ Regan said...

I've read they are way less bitter as newbies or in the early summer and late fall. If you mix them with other veggies, maybe you won't notice the bitter so much, (Or, chop a few up and add to a garden salad. The combo of the salad/dressing should make them more palatable!
Good for you eating them, they are SO good for your liver, they have so many nutrients that our average greens are lacking!

WolfSong said...

I love young greens in a salad! It's the first sign of spring, when I'm out there cutting the itty bitty greens. ;)

Good for you, for trying them! Most people just aren't willing to try them.

I can see where older ones would be good with a ham bone...kinda like collard greens, which have a strong flavor too. Now, I'm going to have to try it.

My next task, with dandelions though, is to dig roots, scrub, roast, and try as a coffee substitute. Another one of those things on my long list of things to try. I'm hoping to fit it in this weekend. With a blog post to follow...of course! LOL!

Jessie said...

Regan - I picked the little ones on purpose, most of them hadn't even budded yet. Still too bitter for me tho - maybe I'm just a wimp!

WolfSong - I'll keep an eye out for that post!