Dandelions are one of my favorite wild plants for preparing dinner dishes with. Instead of buying soulless spinach from the supermarket shelf, I can always rely on harvesting fresh Dandelion just moments before I start preparing my meal!
I find it incredibly versatile to use in the kitchen, and never hesitate to use it in substitution of other greens. Whether I am baking muffins with the flower petals, grinding the root for a coffee-like beverage, or gathering the greens for a salad, I’m forever thankful for this wild-edible growing everywhere I go! I’m also surprised to find that many people still consider Dandelions either a bitter-tasting green or a lawn gardeners nuisance!
However, I believe that this plant should be integrated into our weekly diets (at the very least) merely because of the high amount of complex vitamins, minerals and nutrients that it offers, most of which, we don’t get from commercialized agricultural crops anymore. And, if that isn’t enough to convince you, then check out this list of vitamins and minerals contained in Dandelions: Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Fiber, Calcium, Riboflavin, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Folate, Boron, Selenium, Copper, Zinc, Proteins, and Iron….Just to name a few! Try getting that from your supermarket diet!
Well, go figure Dandelion is ill-adapted to the pallets of the white-picket fence homeowners who work hard every year at applying chemicals to their lawns to kill these plants from disrupting their perfect green lawns, but I’ve also met many people from the other side of the spectrum, “Eco-fighters” or people who talk about keeping things local, sustainable and organic, that also don’t fancy this plant one bit either, but for different reasons.
Mainly I’ve found most people in general can learn to enjoy eating Dandelions, but they just don’t know what to do with them or how to prepare them tastefully! Well, I cant change peoples taste buds, but I can boldly say that it cant get any more local, or more nutritious than Dandelion, and that its worth trying this recipe as an introduction and then finding your opinion from there!
Therefore, I’ve decided to put together this simple & delicious Greek recipe for all of you Dandelion-beginners out there to try at home. Remember to be patient with your tastebuds! Happy wild cooking everyone!
Greek “Horta” Dandelion Greens & Caramelized Onions:
- 3 bunches, Fresh Dandelion Greens
- Olive oil, extra virgin cold pressed, 4 tbsp
- 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- Sea salt, 1-2 pinches
- 1 Lemon, squeezed
- Garlic, 2 cloves crushed
- 2 Onions, Chopped into quarters
- Red Pepper Flakes, 1 pinch
- 1 Tsp. baking powder
Disclaimer: Before eating any wild plants, you must first have positive identification from a trusted source. Please forage smart!
- Cut the stems off the greens and wash thoroughly.
- Soak the dandelion greens in a bowl of cold water with 1 teaspoon salt or baking powder for 10 minutes, and then drain.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Then, simmer the greens until tender, drain and press all of the liquid out of the greens.
- Heat butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat; stir in onions and add red pepper flakes. Caramelize the onions until golden-brown and tender. Next, stir in the garlic for about 1 minute.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add dandelion greens. Continue to saute everything for another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Season with juice from one lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese!
- Lastly, serve on a bed of couscous or quinoa. guten Appetit!