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Dandelion Greens

May 5, 2021
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Before you grab the weed killer, think about this: before the leaves of this ‘weed’ were considered a nuisance in the lawn, they were used for culinary and medicinal purposes dating back to the 11th century.

Appearance & Flavor

The leaves of the common dandelion plant range in color from pale to dark green. The strong flavor is tangy and bitter. The smaller and paler the leaves, the more tender and mild they are, but the larger ones are chewy and quite bitter. If the leaves come from a plant that has already flowered, the flavor is so strong that they are usually past being considered edible. Look for firm leaves and thin stems, and avoid those that looked wilted or limp.

Ways to Enjoy

If you’re looking for a different way to include veggies in your breakfast, try this egg recipe. They can be eaten raw or cooked. When raw, their flavor pairs well with sweeter ingredients such as apples or peaches in salads. They can also balance well with saltier items like bacon or cheese. They make a great additive to salad dressing and work well infused in olive oil.  As for cooking these greens, try adding them to pasta, casseroles, and sauces.

Availability & Origin

Dandelion greens are available year-round. They are native to Eurasia, but they still grow in every hemisphere and in every state in the US, since they are a naturally occurring plant that spreads quickly.

Storage

Rinse in cool water, dry completely, and store in an open plastic bag or container. To ensure they don’t get too cold, the crisper drawer should do the trick-they’ll last a few days.