We are all familiar with dandelions-fuzzy yellow flowers with green leaves that pop up on our lawn every spring. Those sometimes irritating yellow flowers turn into those cottony white flowers which, for some youngsters, is like finding gold. Remember blowing off every last fluffy seed to make a wish? But did you know that dandelion greens make for a tasty recipe addition and you can rarely find them in the grocery store.
Before dandelions flower, you might notice spiky-looking green leaves pop out of the ground. Forget about reaching for the weed killer! Dandelion leaves are completely edible and bursting with flavor. They're also known to have many health benefits: dandelion greens are packed with vitamin A, vitamin K, iron, and calcium.
Prepare dandelion greens like any other green: Wash them well and drain them in a colander or salad spinner. Make sure the raw dandelion greens have not been harvested where herbicides and pesticides are used. Try using dandelion leaves in your cooking by treating them like arugula, swiss chard, beet greens or mustard greens. The leafy greens are tender with a bitter flavor and there are plenty of ways to enjoy them, including braising. Here are some dandelion green recipes to get you started.
1. Dandelion Salad with Roasted Beets, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Toasts
Bring out the best of dandelion leaves' bitter flavor with this fresh salad. The sweetness from the roasted beets and homemade vinaigrette will help balance out the bitter greens to make this delicious bistro-style salad. Here's the recipe.
2. Sautéed Greens with Toasted Garlic Cloves and Almonds
This is a great dandelion greens recipe to make as a healthy side dish and if you have an abundance of dandelion leaves. Quickly cook greens in a large pot of salted boiling water and then rinse them off under cold water to stop the cooking process.
3. Dandelion Greens Detox Smoothie
If you feel like you've indulged a little too much lately, this super green dandelion leaves smoothie might help. This is a great recipe that you can have ready in just minutes. You don't even have to cook the greens! Here's the recipe.
4. Dandelion Green Pesto
This recipe might be one of your new favorite ways to use dandelion greens this spring! This recipe is fresh, healthy and perfect on top of pizza or in a pasta dish. Top with a sprinkling of black pepper. Here's the recipe.
5. Dandelion Greens and Tortellini Soup
6. Dandelion Greens with a Fried Egg, Croutons, and Anchovy Dressing
If you have a bunch of dandelion greens from the farmer's market, a great way to use them all up is with this salad recipe. It's a fun twist on a classic Caesar salad that's bursting with different flavors.
Don't forget to whip out the really good extra virgin olive oil for this! Here's the recipe.
7. Spicy Fettuccine with Dandelion Greens, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Pancetta
The bitter flavor from the sautéed greens taste so good with the spicy flavor from the fresh pasta in this dish. You can easily make your own homemade pasta dough with minced hot peppers or buy pre-made at the store.
You can also replace the minced hot peppers with red pepper flakes. Close your eyes and picture yourself enjoying this dandelion greens dish in Italy! Here's the recipe.
8. Dandelion Chips
Step aside kale chips, you've got some competition! Crispy, crunchy, salty and healthy, these dandelion chips make a satisfying snack.
No need to fry them, just make sure to coat them with a drizzle of olive oil to help them crisp up in the oven. Here's the recipe.
9. Stuffed French Toast with Bacon, Sautéed Dandelion Greens, and Gruyère Cheese
Not going to lie, but I'm kind of craving this sandwich recipe right now! The dandelion greens are cut into two inch pieces and sautéed with some butter, onions and white wine (even makes a great side dish!).
10. Spring Rolls with Stir Fried Mushrooms and Dandelion Greens
I absolutely love spring rolls and being able to see every ingredient inside, especially the pop of green from the dandelion leaves! This flavorful dandelion greens recipe makes the perfect snack or side dish and is so easy to prepare. Here's the recipe.
This article was originally published on April 4, 2018.