How frustrating is it to spend time grooming your lawn, only to have pesky dandelions pop up exactly two hours later and ruin all your hard work? Who knew something could grow so damn fast? I’m pretty sure dandelions are the reason people say “Growing like a weed.”
What I didn’t know was you could eat the little buggers. Now, instead of eyeballing their long stems and yellow heads in disgust, I see food. And damn, do I love food.
Now, with more time at home, why not be adventurous and see what you think about eating dandelions? It’s a fun and different activity to try with your family. Before you wrinkle your nose and think, Hard pass, hear me out: Dandelions are good for you. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and contain high levels of antioxidants. That alone is a solid reason to try them.
Not to mention, if you have them growing in your yard, they are free.
Did you know how versatile this weed is? You can eat every part of the plant. You can crisp up the yellow flowers by dipping them in egg, milk and flour and frying them. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to try anything that’s fried at least once.
With so many uses, I couldn’t resist the challenge. So last weekend my kids and I decided we’d give these weeds a try and see if I could learn to love these pesky shoots sprouting all over our yard.
It was a fun project and my kids didn’t complain at all about picking the greens. (Pro tip: calling it “foraging” is a lot more fun than calling it “weeding”— it’s all in how you present it to them.)
Make sure to rinse them really well with cool water several times over. The leaves collect lots of dirt and grit you might not see.
We decided to fry up the leaves using butter, garlic, and olive oil and adding a splash of red wine vinegar after cooking.
My daughter loves beet greens, and these tasted just like them. Even my son, who is picky about which veggies he allows into his body, liked them. We had them as a side with our rice and grilled chicken, and I was glad to save the spinach I’d purchased for dinner that night for spinach dip instead.
Next, we decided to make some dandelion pesto. We love pesto on pasta, bread, and use it instead of sauce on homemade pizza sometimes.
I grow basil, but there never seems to be enough to have pesto as often as we like. Plus, it’s expensive to buy fresh basil leaves at the farmers’ market or grocery store.
The dandelion pesto was so delicious I ate it plain. The plan was to put it in the refrigerator and have it on pasta the next day for lunch, but my daughter and I ate it all that night.
The menu options for dandelions are endless. Next, we are trying dandelion fritters, and check this: I found a recipe for dandelion dip. I bet it will be amazing with crusty bread or warm tortilla chips.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and try some dandelions. You just may find that the very weed that used to drive you bonkers may become one of your favorite snacks.
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