Dandelion is a great herb for everyday nutrition. You can add to milder salad blends, like red leaf lettuce, or blend with other bitter herbs, like endive and chicory. To add dandelion into your diet, follow these tips:
- Gather the leaves when young, before they have flowered in spring
- Collect from a spray-free area, away from the road, or in your own organic garden
- After flowering, cut the plant back to the top of the roots, and then harvest the new growth
- Harvest or grow dandelions in shade for the least bitter flavor
- The dandelions seen in stores are often Italian dandelions, which are more bitter than the domestic variety
To make your own dandelion coffee:
- Wash the roots, slice lengthwise in half, and then air dry for several days
- Cut the roots into 1-inch sections and roast on a baking sheet at 375˚F for 2-4 hours
- Turn the roots regularly so they brown evenly
Fresh-made dandelion coffee makes a great gift, too! So the next time you're invited to a dinner party or need a last-minute-present, package some dandelion coffee in an attractive, air-tight jar and share with friends and family.
What are your favorite ways to eat dandelion? Post your favorite dandelion recipes here! We look forward to tasting your recipes.