Dandelions are edible in their wild and cultivated forms; they're bitter, though not ferociously so, with jagged, "lions tooth" like leaves.
The greens are edible in their raw and most gutsy state, in salads or (for the courageous) in smoothies or juices. You can take them down a notch, too, by cooking them, and even more so if you blanch them first. Some like them best sautéed with olive oil and a bit of garlic or as a wilted dandelion salad with bacon, a warm vinaigrette, and perhaps, a beautiful poached egg. Call me when this hits the menu....I'll be right over.
"Dandelion" is derived from the Middle English "dent-de-lioun," once removed from Middle French "dent de lion," or lion's tooth, for its maw-like leaves. Today, the French call it "pissenlit," which less poetically translates to "wet the bed." This refers to the leaves' diuretic effect, which has been harnessed to treat liver disorders and high blood pressure. Various parts of the plant are used to tackle stomach upset, inflammation and kidney disease.
- Olive oil
- Sweet potatoes
- Vinegar-balsamic, red wine