Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Humble Dandelion

Note: My grand parents came from Northern  Italy. My grandfather was an avid vegetable gardener, he is the only one that I know who has successfully grown Fig Trees in Pittsburgh PA! . He had a wife & nine children to support during The Great Depression.  During spring, summer & fall months he always made a Dandelion Salad with every dinner meal.  He passed away when I was 16 years old and although  I learned a lot from him  I was young and didn't have enough wisdom to be a serious student...I'd give anything to have him back now. 
The Humble Dandelion

Today's frugal recipe is easy, cheap, and extremely 

healthy. Dandelions are a nuisance to most people, 
but did you know they are edible and very healthy 
to eat? I will be doing some follow-up posts in the 
next couple of weeks on foraging for edible foods, 
so stay tuned... but today I will be focusing on 
dandelion greens.

There are many ways to cook and eat dandelion greens 

(just search Swagbucks and you will get a bunch of recipes). 
Below is my favorite way to prepare them.

 You will need:

1 cup of dandelion leaves 

(pick younger leaves for a less bitter taste)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese

1.) Wash the dandelion leaves.

2.) Steam the leaves until they get 'wilty'.

3.) Toss the steamed leaves in the oil and vinegar.

4.) Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

This recipe makes two side-dish sized servings, 

or one larger serving. I like to serve these with fish.


Dandelions are one of the most healthy foods you 

can eat. Dandelion is rich in Vitamin A, C, iron, 
Luteolin, and calcium. It is a great food for promoting 
healthy kidney function and strong bones. And, it is 
available for free!


• Pick your dandelion leaves when they are young, 

even before the flower opens. The younger the plant, 
the less bitter it will taste.

• Pick plants that have not been treated with chemicals

 and are not regularly visited by dogs.

• Foraging for plants, like dandelions, is fun and rewarding.

 Just make sure you are not trespassing on private property.

Credit to: The Single Saver


  1. Believe it or not we don't have too many dandelions here but usually every spring Michelle and I take a walk up the road and collect whatever we can. She does not like the greens but she likes it when I fry the flowers for her.

  2. Another common weed that one can eat is plantain.

    Becky's comment about frying the flowers reminded me that we used to have a lot of day lilies, and I regularly breaded and fried the flowers just before they opened.

  3. Okay, maybe I will get up the nerve to eat some leaves in a salad. Can I throw the leaves into a pot of soup? Now, the figure out where the chickens have not visited and pooped!