By this time of year the dandelions are pretty bitter. However, our yard is full of them, and I'd really like to utilize this source of nutritious (free!) greens. Does anyone have any recipes suitable for masking the bitterness, or suggestions for preparation that would reduce/eliminate the bitterness? I know that blanching them briefly, then discarding the water can help, but I'm not sure what to do with blanched dandelions..
posted 10 years ago
Rachel, have you tried dicing up the dandelions and mixing them with other greens in a curry stir fry? mmmmgoood. olive oil, chop onions, dice carrots, chop red pepper, chop assorted greens ( dandelions, nettles,miners lettuce, spinach, bok choy etc) fish sauce, curry, coconut milk saute onions, carrots, green peppers in olive oil - when onions start browning lightly, add greens and cook down, add fish sauce ( at least 2 tablespoons), 2 tablespoons or more curry stir together till curry gets aromatic ( 3-4 minutes) add coconut milk 1/2 cup at a time and stir well. You may or maynot use all of the coconut milk. the greens should be in a small amount of liquid at the end of cooking not floating in it. However... this mixture can be made then used to spice up almost any type of bean soup... it goes very well over any type of rice and can be stuffed inside a rabbit wrapped in foil and baked in the oven at 350 for 1 1/2 hours ( depending on rabbit size)
posted 10 years ago
mmmm I'll have to try making a dandelion curry thanks for the suggestion Nina!
A good, all around method for removing bitter or unsavory flavors from things (from dandelion greens to beef liver) is to soak it in an acidulated liquid overnight. You could use anything from some cold water with enough lemon juice to make it tangy, to buttermilk which imparts its own rich creamy quality to the foods. The acid in the liquid acts to draw out impurities in the food. Another method, which I would reserve for greens and other bitter vegetables, is to place them in a pot with ice water and slowly bring up to a boil; if they're still bitter, dump off the water, squeeze them dry, and repeat the process until palatable. Hope this helps!
dandelions are less bitter after a good rain (or lots of irrigation) - it doesn't matter if they have bloomed or not
cooking / sautéeing in fat and protein (like bacon, ham or vegan/veg alternative) helps reduce the bitter
Edit: here is a picture from *summer* dandelion greens picked here at wheaton labs. It was July 2016 (not 2017 which was DRY, dry, dry!) and the leaves were still remarkable nice and wide - full of moisture making them less bitter.
Yes, I agree with all above.
Chopping them up and mixing them with whatever I'm eating:lasagna, chilaquiles, beans, rice.
Adding chile, soy sauce, olive oil, vinegar, etc to the combo to make it just right.
Very bitter that year? Less dandelion, smaller pieces, other flavor combos to balance.
I usually mix them in with other greens too, which balances the flavor: parsley, earth chestnut, scorzonera, many mallows, swiss chard, kale, leeks, false dandelion, plantain,e tc.
In the spring my dad would gather the young dandelion plants , chop up the leaves an put them in potato salad. One of those dishes you looked forward to while the getting was good. He also would saute them with onion and when they were just about done he would throw some of our eggs in the skillet scramble them all together and that was a breakfast!
Another solution is to ...enjoy bitterness! This is healthy because...
- it cleans the mouth,
- make you salivate
- and send the signal to your stomach to produce enough acid! (which we almost all lack by the way... because of stress, and too much sweet taste not enough bitter, read ayurvedic stuffs!)
If you mix in a salad, and feel the bitterness less, no problem because your stomach also has bitter receptors.
I get them first thing in the morning. It goes well with lemon juice. But also munching in the garden! Very tooth cleaning!
It has been mentionned to remove the cetral rib. Here is an easy way to remove the harder part. Take the low end between 2 fingers, and with the other hand take both sides of this same end and go upward. It will remove exactly the tender green part, quick and close to the central stem! It will eventually cut half way, where more tender. This is a fun exercise, because you will develop more finger tact, to notice the difference between each leave...
Xisca - pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience...