Dandelions: Spring Is Here
By Will Summers, Master Gardener
This may be premature, but dandelions are an important harbinger of spring. Dandelions: If you can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em. Dandelion leaves are delicious if you cut them before they flower. Dandelion leaves are best picked in early spring and eaten raw in salads or sandwiches. Cooked dandelion may be steamed, sautéed or chopped into stews. My favorite way to eat dandelion is the way my mother always cooked them, which is to braise them with some chopped ham or bacon pieces.
The food quality of dandelion is well-established as an ample source of vitamins A, B-complex, C, D and K, as well as a source for calcium, iron, potassium as well as anti-oxidants and diuretics.
Dandelion tastes like most leafy vegetables such as endive or leaf-lettuces such as romaine. The first time you eat dandelion will be unique: “Hey, I ate some weeds”, but the next time, you will consider it another valued garden vegetable, but one you didn’t have to plant or care for.
Although I prefer eating only the leaves, its white taproots may be dried, toasted, ground and used for a deliciously fragrant, decaffeinated coffee substitute. Later in the year, dandelion flowers may be gathered in quantity and used as a flavoring in homemade wine.
For More, Please Read The April 1 Edition Of The Nashville News.