As we look to more and more local food sources, let’s not forget the dandelion! So resourceful and scrappy, this flower-weed is almost impossible to eradicate, as countless suburbanites have discovered the hard way. Why not accept the flower for what it is: a tough, native – and edible – green.
If you’re not up for making dandelion wine or dandelion flower jelly, how about a salad? Chop the dandelion greens into 2-inch lengths and toss with a warm bacon dressing:
• Cut bacon into 1/4-inch slices, crosswise, and cook until just crisp.
• Pour the hot bacon fat into a glass jar and let the bits settle. Pour a tablespoon off the top of the still warm bacon fat, and mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and salt to taste.
• Add croutons, goat cheese and cooked French lentils.
But is it good for you? Dandelions have more beta-carotene than carrots, and more calcium and iron than spinach. The French call them pissenlit, for their diuretic powers as a kidney tonic. The list of their traditional medicinal properties is long.
Set your kids to foraging for dandelion leaves! Look for young leaves, and make sure to harvest away from roads and dog runs!
Larissa Phillips is a cooking instructor and food writer for Parenthood.com. Email her at FeedingYourFamily@Parenthood.com. Check out Larissa’s blog Mothership Meals & Satellite Saucers and discover how to get through dinner without having a breakdown!
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topics/article-topics.php?Article_ID=12422">RECIPES: Bahn Mi (Vietnamese Sandwiches)