Dandelion (Pissabed, Pries’ Crown, Telltime)
Rich, well-drained soil
The name is derived from the French “dent de lion”, which translates to lion’s tooth, denoting the toothed edges to the leaves. The diuretic effect is evidenced from one of the common names, pissabed. In the language of flowers, dandelion denotes love’s oracle.
Often looked upon disparagingly as the scourge of the perfect, well-manicured American lawn, dandelions were cultivated in European kitchen gardens for hundreds of years. The dandelion was purposely brought from Europe to the New World by the settlers.
Native Americans and the American pioneers made great use of all parts of the plant. Even today, the dandelion’s versatility is widely enjoyed. Flowers are brewed into tea, wine, and beer. The young leaves are delicious in salads or
cooked as a green. The roots are often roasted and ground into a coffee substitute. Medicinally, the tea is used as a mild calmative.
Dandelions appear in the spring. The blossoms have a sweet honeylike flavor when picked young. As the flowers mature, the flavor becomes bitter. The green sepals can also be somewhat bitter and should be removed for any recipe in which emphasis is placed on the sweet nature of the plant and for any brewed beverage. The flowers open in the morning and close at night, so pick dandelions immediately before using them as the flowers close quickly after picking.
Do you want to know how to culture dandelion?
Attention!! Contact dermatitis has been reported from handling dandelions. This is most likely from the latex in the leaves and stems. Do not eat dandelions from lawns that have been chemically treated with herbicides, preemergents or weed-and-feed type fertilizers.
Pick 1000 dandelion flowers and clean the petals which are green, wash them and boil in 2 liters of water with four lemons for 15 minutes. After boiling, let the content stand for 24 hours, then strain. Obtained juice is boiled with 3 kg of sugar until it has the texture of the honey. Once cooked, wait until is cool and place in jars to store in a cool dark place.
4 quarts dandelion flowers (remove stem & sepals)
4 quarts granulated sugar
4 quarts boiling water
juice of 2 lemons
juice of 1 orange
1 yeast cake
Add dandelion flowers to a large stone crock or jar. Cover them with sugarand then add boiling water. When water has cooled to lukewarm, add the lemon juice and orange juice. Break up the yeast cake and add to the liquid. Stir well. Cover loosely and let stand 24 hours. Strain through cheesecloth and discard solids. Return liquid to the crock, loosely cover and let stand for 3 days.
Strain through several layers of cheesecloth. return liquid to crock and allow to ferment. bottle when all fermentation action stops. Keep at least 3 to 4 months before drinking.
Makes 1-1/2 gallons of wine
15 dandelion flowers, rinsed in water but still slightly moist
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp butter
Dredge moist flowers in flour, heat the butter in a heavy frying pan then add the flowers and fry them quickly, turning to brown all sides. Servethe mushroom while they’re hot. Can you believe it is a dandelion and not a fried mushroom? Extraordinary taste.
1 tsp butter
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/4 cup peanut or veggie oil
15 to 20 d’lion flowers
Mix eggs with water in a small bowl, then mix cornmeal and cheese in another small bowl. Heat oil in a heavy frying pan until it begins to sizzle. Dip each flower into the egg mixture, then place it in the cornmeal-cheese mixture and gently toss until all surfaces are covered. Gently drop the coated flower in the hot oil, turning frequently, until evently golden. Drain on paper towel. Serve immediately or later at room temp.
The slight bite of the cheese is a fine contrast to the sweetness of the flowers. A versatile recipe, serve the battered blossoms as a side dish, crunchy garnish, or hors d’oeuvres.
1 tbsp sweet/unsalted butter
20 dandelion buds
1 tbsp water
4 dandelion flowers
Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add buds, cooking until they start to open into flowers. Whisk the eggs and water until the mixture is light and frothy. Slowly pour the eggs into the cooked buds, stirring gently as the eggs set. Cook to desired consistency. Serve garnished with d’lion flowers.
Dandelion leaves are eaten as a salad in the north of Italy where they are referred to as “Insalata matta” which translates as “crazy salad”.