OK, the title’s a cross between the classic “Eat your greens,” as grandmothers used to advise, and the once ubiquitous “Eat your Wheaties,” as the Cheerios folks used to advertise. But this time of year, I’m doing something that gives me a sense of being simultaneously virtuous and hedonistic.

Here’s what you do. Pick the dandelions before they blossom, hopefully uprooting them while you’re at it, and then wash the early greens before the plants turn altogether bitter. (Toss the roots aside; that’s the weeding part of the equation.) You then use the tiny leaves as the basis for salads or, I suppose, anything Florentine. Yes, food writer Angelo Pelegrini (a decade before Julia Child) was right in his praises: dandelion greens in season can be glorious. If you like spinach, you’ll understand.

We’ve been delighting on them both as cold salads and as quickly blanched greens, especially with hard-boiled eggs and/or thick, crisp bacon on top. A fried egg works nicely, too, with its runny yolk. Top your dish with grated cheese if you want. Salt and pepper to taste. Can anything be simpler?

And that’s as close as you’re going to get to a recipe on this blog. I’ll let others point to the fancier variations. For that matter, they can even match it with the right wine … or beer.





17 thoughts on “EAT YOUR WEEDS

  1. You can also make a green smoothie, throw in some apples or berries to sweeten the drink up. When I weed my garden most of the weeds are edible. I do this all the time ❤

    1. We just mentioned Euell Gibbons and his foraging in the comments of the Hippie Lit posting.
      Now you have me wondering what other ideas are going to pop up here.
      Thanks for the inspiration, especially as the growing season is just beginning.

  2. One of my neighbours actually cultivates dandelions on purpose. I am not sure what the variety is but the flowers are lovely and the leaves are huge.

    1. Yes, my wife is pointing out that we can order seeds next year for special varieties of dandelions. Seems the Europeans have been domesticating them for years.

  3. I just realized … I forgot to mention the vinaigrette dressing, which really sets it off. We use balsamic vinegar for any of several versions. Of course, I imagine there are many other dressings that are also splendid.

  4. E just started picking them as they grow… My husband and I will snack on them (rinsing them under the hose) as we are gardening. LOL!

  5. You can make wine from the dandelion flowers… 3 qts dandelion flowers, 1 lb golden raisins, 1 gallon water, 3 lbs granulated sugar, 2 lemons, 1 orange, yeast and nutrient. I’ve made herb wines using lemon balm. Also I’ve made fiddle-head wine from the maiden fern. I haven’t made dandelion wine. The Dandelion recipe is from site.

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