Many herbalists consider the lowly dandelion to be a valuable food source. With the abundance of these easy-to-spot weeds, here are a couple of recipes that make a couple surprisingly edible items.
1 T finely chopped garlic scapes or wild spring garlic
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t coarse sea salt
1/4 t granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups (4 ounces) dandelion greens, large leaves torn in half.
1. Combine garlic scapes, lemon juice, salt and sugar in a bowl. Whisk until well combined. Drizzle in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified.
2. Place dandelion greens in a salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over greens, and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
This jelly doesn’t require the sterilizing and sealing process commonly used for jams and preserves. Simply keep it refrigerated in an airtight container, and enjoy for up to 2 weeks.
4 cups water
4 cups dandelion blossoms (yellow and white parts only)
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered pectin
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Bring water and dandelion blossoms to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a measuring cup, pressing solids. Discard blossoms. (You should have 3 cups of liquid; add water if necessary.)
2. Combine pectin and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Bring dandelion liquid and remaining 4 cups sugar to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Add the pectin mixture, stirring constantly to dissolve pectin and sugar. Add lemon juice and boil for 1 minute. Skim foam from the surface. Let cool slightly.
3. Pour mixture into an airtight container. Cover with a lid. Refrigerate until set, about four hours. Jelly can be refrigerated in the an airtight container for two weeks.
Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 20 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.