I saw this recipe in an herbal magazine recently, and seeing the abundance of the yellow things in my field, I decided to give it a try. The flavor is amazing, and not at all like you would think!
Servings: 1 or morePrep Time: 15-20 minutes, more for larger quantities Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
Butter for frying – 2-3 Tbsp. per portion
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Tomato slices (optional)
Dandelion greens (optional)
Wild Onion (optional)
Crumbled bacon (non-vegetarian option)
Light Olive Oil (optional)
Take a basket or apron and gather dandelion blossoms in full bloom from an un-sprayed, clean field – don’t go for the roadside flowers on this one! You can keep the green bit under the yellow flower attached, but don’t bother with the stems for this recipe. 10-15 blossoms is plenty per person for a light lunch or side dish, the larger blossoms give the best results. If you find any clean, fairly new dandelion leaves (the mature ones can be a little tougher and stronger tasting), go ahead and pick a handfull of those as well per portion. Keep your eye out for any wild onion or chives, as the green bits of those work nicely as garnish on this dish.
When you get the flowers and any greens you’ve picked back to the house, rinse them gently, being sure to remove any bits of grass or bugs. Dry as you would fresh leaf lettuce – try and remove as much moisture as you can without bruising them.
Take the blossoms and toss them in a mixture of white flour, salt and pepper. A fine whole wheat flour might work well if you prefer. Doing this step in a small bowl works, or use a zip-lock bag to keep things clean and easy.
In a large skillet, melt approximately 2 tablespoons of butter per portion for frying – you may well need to add more butter or some olive oil if the flour is particularly ‘thirsty’ to keep the flour from burning in the pan. A cast iron skillet works well for this.
Take the floured blossoms and place them yellow side down in the melted butter and brown them over medium heat. Turn once or twice to get as many of the sides that you can without breaking the flower shape apart. When all sides are a nice golden brown, they’re ready to serve.
Lay a bed of dandelion greens on a salad plate – tear in bite sized pieces as needed. Place fresh tomato slices or pieces on the greens, then arrange the fried dandelion blossoms on top of that. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and a pinch of chopped wild onion greens or chives to taste. Drizzle lightly with light olive oil as you would a salad dressing to add a little moisture if you like. If you don’t mind a little bacon in your diet, the salty, smokey flavor of fresh crumbled bacon provides a nice compliment to the other flavors in this dish. For those who are partial to ramps or goat cheese, you may find a way to bring those into this dish too, but I wouldn’t add too much, so as not to distract from the delicate, nutty flavor that the dandelion blossoms provide. Bon Apetit!
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