Wild About - Dandelion Blossoms

Seems like they're everywhere this time of year, their cheery blossoms gazing toward the sun. And in my eyes, dandelions make the ideal foraged food. They're super nutritious, every part is edible, and perhaps best of all, anyone can recognize a dandelion.

I've taken particular joy this year in using my bike to expand my foraging possibilities. And today was no different. I remembered a spot, just a few miles from home, where a field was yellow with dandelions, and free from human contaminants. I stashed an old quart yogurt tub in my pack, and filled it to the brim with dandelions heads. It's fun to zip off on my bike, and return with free food. Free food, y'all!

Most dandelion blossom recipes are a bit labor-intensive, requiring the petals to be plucked from the flower heads. Talk about slow food! Not so with this recipe, the entire blossom (sans stem) is utilized. Simply dunk the dandelion blossoms into a nicely seasoned batter, and fry. Can't wrap your head around the idea of eating dandelions? Think of fried dandelion blossoms as the country mouse cousin of fried squash blossoms (foodies' fried flower darling).

I used a cornmeal-based batter for crunch - a few big spoonfuls of cornmeal, one spoonful of cornstarch, a tiny sprinkling of baking powder, lots of onion powder and black pepper, salt, an egg, and enough milk to thin it to pancake batter consistency. But use any wet batter you please. Just be sure to season it really well, because, frankly, that's mostly what you'll be tasting. The flavor of dandelion flowers is subtle.

Dip each dandelion blossom in the batter to coat, and fry in lard over a medium heat until golden and crunchy.

These are best eaten right out of the frying pan, so gather everyone around to munch the batches as they come out. I had a few leftover, so for dinner, I quickly re-crisped them in a skillet, then added them to my salad (mixed greens from the balcony hoop house, dandelion greens, goat cheese, vinaigrette, and a sprinkling of parm).

Do I even need to mention that you should use your noodle when foraging for dandelions? If there's even the slightest danger that they've been sprayed or treated, don't eat them. Also, try not to gather flowers that have been in close proximity to automobile, pedestrian, or doggy pollution.

Comments

  1. This sounds like a good recipe for beginners. My kids are always picking dandelion blossoms anyhow.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Dandy blossoms are an easy one for all of you to identify, and they cook up mild and tasty.

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  2. I was thinking the same thing as the previous commenter - this would be a great thing to make with my kids. Thank you for the recipe.

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