Date: Wed, 8 May 1996 17:18:07 -0700
To: The Culinary Herbs & Spices List <HERBS.HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Laura Hamilton <mslaura.SFSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: Dandelions?

Monique wrote:
>Is there anything interesting I can do with the multitude of dandelions growing in my yard? Specifically, I'd like to know how to create a dandelion tea (or even dandelion wine...).
>As far as I know, the yard has never been treated chemically, so the dandelions should be safe for consumption, yes?

Use young tender leaves in salads, as the French do. I just read a delicious-sounding recipe for dandelion green salad in a French cookbook last night: will look at it again and post it for you. I do know that the young leaves are sort of bitter like endives, and really complement certain ingredients. You can mix the leaves into a regular salad and spruce things up a bit. The leaves are also extremely rich in vitamins and minerals, especially compared to the virtually valueless iceberg lettuce used in most salads.

From: "Peter A. Gail" <PETERGAIL.AOL.COM>

To Monique et al.

Dandelions are one of the most overlooked and underestimated food resources in the United States. They have been used for both food and medicine since well before the time of Christ, and are delicious when collected at the right time and prepared properly, in combination with foods which mask their bitterness.

They are one of nature's richest sources of Vitamin A (Beta-carotene) and lecithin, are very rich in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, B vitamins, and a whole host of biologically active substances which lower cholestrol, help with weight loss, purify the blood, and are a tonic for the liver and kidneys, among other things.

Flowers can be made into muffins, fritters, waffles, pancakes, jelly, syrup, wine and many other things. I currently have collected over 700 recipes for dandelions from 48 countries, sponsor the National Dandelion Cookoff (just completed last weekend... (snipped the rest)

From: "Mary E. Hall" <IOMA2.AOL.COM>

>Is there anything interesting I can do with the multitude of dandelions growing in my yard?

from "Edible Flowers: From Garden to Palate"
by Cathy Wilkinson Barash

WARNING. 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.

Dandelion wine

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 with sugar. 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 1-½ gallons of wine

Dandelion "mushrooms"

15 d'lion flowers, rinsed in water but still slightly moist
½ cup flour
2 tbsp butter
Dredge moist flowers in flour. Heat butter in a heavy frying pan. Add flowers and fry quickly, turning to brown all sides. Serve hot. Close your eyes and pop on eof these crisp goodies into your mouth. Would you believe it was a d'lion and not a fried mushroom?

Cornmeal dandies

1 egg
1 tsp butter
1 cup cornmeal
¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
¼ cup peanut or veggie oil
15 to 20 d'lion flowers

Beat eggs with water in a small bowl. Mix cornmeal and cheese in a 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.

This is a variation of a Native American dish. 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.

Dandy Eggs
1 tbsp sweet/unsalted butter
20 dandelion buds
4 eggs
1 tbsp water
4 dandelion flowers
Melt butter in a 10-inch 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.

Oof, I hadn't really planned to type all of the entry, but I got interested myself. I haven't tried any of these recipes. And I would add one warning to those listed by the author: If you have allergies be *very careful* the first time you try eating a new flower, because the pollen can trigger asthma attacks and other reactions!