Roasted Dandelion Root Rub for Meat

It used to be when I thought of eating dandelion, I'd first think of the bitter greens, then perhaps consider the bright blossoms.  But it wasn't really until this year that I started playing around with the culinary applications of the roots.  You see, when dried and roasted, some say that dandelion roots have a flavor similar to coffee (although herbalist Michael Moore said that this is an insult to both coffee and dandelions), so you can see how they'd have a lot of potential for making great recipes.

To prepare dandelion roots to eat, first dig them up, remove the leaves (and eat 'em!), and scrub them with water until clean of all dirt.  Cut the roots into tiny bits, no bigger than pencil erasers.  Spread the cut dandelion roots onto a baking sheet.

I think the easiest and most efficient way to roast them is to stick them into the oven after cooking dinner.  I simply turn off the oven after making a roast or casserole, place the baking sheet with the dandelion roots in there, and leave them in there to dry with the door ajar.  It only took me one night to accomplish the task, as it's quite dry here.  But it may take two nights in a more humid environment.  Either way, the point is to get them completely dried out, and slightly toasty.

Obviously, a food that tastes similar to coffee will lend itself well to all sorts of dessert applications.  But I've got a meat tooth, not a sweet tooth, so I wanted to experiment with how roasted dandelion root could be used with savory treats.  The first thing that popped into my mind was the coffee rubs that are popular for steaks these days.

Roasted Dandelion Root Rub

Buzz a few tablespoons of roasted dandelion root through a coffee grinder until it is a fine powder.  Mix it with spices that you enjoy.  I used onion powder, mustard powder, cumin, thyme, guajillo chile powder, salt and pepper.  But there's no need to get overly scientific here.  Open up your spice cabinet, and use a pinch of this and that, whatever strikes your fancy.  Trust me, it'll taste yummy.

Generously rub your meat with the mixture, and let stand for at least 30 minutes.  I used the roasted dandelion root rub on dove breasts, but it would pair beautifully with any strongly-flavored meat, from beef to buffalo.

Before grilling the rubbed meat, anoint it with a little lard to prevent sticking.  The roasted dandelion root rub creates a fantastically flavorful crust over the meat.  I served my grilled dandelion-rubbed dove bites on warm corn tortillas with a lightly dressed salad of dandelion greens and some queso fresco, because I'm into eating everything taco-stylie these days.

Have you got a great dandelion recipe (roots, leaves, buds, or flowers) that you'd like to submit to the Wild Things Round Up foraging challenge?  Share it with me and my partner in crime, Bek of Cauldrons and Crockpots by emailing it to

I'm sharing this recipe with the Hearth and Soul hop and Real Food Wednesday.  Please follow the link and enjoy more great recipes.


  1. Oh so super creative! Never thought to use dandelion root as anything other than a liver cleanser in the spring! I do love love love the taste of the leaves so that is no complaint on my part! I have to remember to send you my recipe! Hugs! Alex

  2. I'll take a few tacos, please! Man, when I look back over the years and think of all the food I've ripped out and dried and thrown in the compost, it makes me sad. I'm still waiting for our dandelions to pop through...starting to see a few scattered here and there. I will definitely harvest the whole plant this year!

  3. Dandelions have been on my mind. We've been enjoying the young leaves in everything lately, and I'd been thinking how ironic it is that we BUY dandy blend (a dandelion root/chicory root beverage we adore), and never have tried roasting our own. Coincidentally, my husband pulled a few dandy plants tonight, scrubbed the roots clean, and left them on the table. Guess he didn't know where to go from there and was hoping I'd take over.

    I appreciated the tips, and think you've inspired the start of our root-roasting adventures. I never knew how to cut it or whether to cut it at all. "Pencil erasers" is a great visual image.


  4. You amaze me with your post. Looks delicious. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul hop.

  5. Dude, I can't wait to rub my meat with that.

    But seriously, the coffee flavour on meat sounds delicious.

  6. Beks - You will no doubt squeal with delight when you rub your meat with this!


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