I love dandelion season! They're one of my favorite foods!
The greens are my least favorite- even the new baby ones, or farm raised, seem too bitter for me now. :-/
The flowers, however, make heavenly fritters. Not to mention wine!
Out for my walk in the woods today and I noticed that the dandelions are starting to show in my area. When I was a kid in early May we would go out with my Aunt Mary armed with a butter knife and some grocery bags. We would hunt for dandelions. Using the knife to dig out the whole plant and shake off the excess dirt. Once we had a few bags filled we would head home. She would put them into a sink of water and wash them and rewash them to remove the dirt and other things. She would then cut the bunches up into smaller sizes to prepare for cooking.
Being Italian my Aunt Mary made them by heating up a bit of olive oil in a frying pan. Putting in some chopped garlic and hot pepper flakes. Add the dandelions into the pan and cook them until wilted. Once cooked she would put in a dozen eggs and make a kind of scrambled eggs/omelet with them. My family still enjoys them this way today. If you get the young bright green leafs they can be eaten raw in a salad. They are slightly bitter but they taste great.
Look for dandelions that have yet to flower or have a bud in the centre. We always avoided those ones because they tasted too bitter. There's a small window in the season where you can gather the fresh dandelions before they flower. Try to get them in an area that is free from chemicals and pesticides. I hey have flowered already in your area, then take note of the large concentrations of them and go out earlier next year before they flower.
This is a great way to get some free grub and lets you gather food, like your ancestors did, even if you live in an urban environment. Enjoy.
My Italian Grandfather enjoyed making dandelion wine almost as much as he enjoyed drinking it. I was too young to have and or it was too good to share I guess.
I remember when I was about 7, I mistook a pitcher of dandelion wine in the refrigerator for orange juice. It's a mistake I'll never forget!
To this day, my parents still have a bit reserved in a mason jar, about 13 years old now, from one of their last batches. It's so smooth... like brandy.
So envy at you. Living in the city, have no pastoral memories
Everything is bad for something - How do you feel today?
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.
My father's side of the family is Italian, too, and your story sounds so similar to ones I have from childhood. My grandmother would pick them on the lawn or down the road and make a salad. They're so good, and good for you!
I discovered the delights of dandelions recently living in Tasmania, Australia. I fried the roots and leaves with mushrooms, bacon and liver. Fan-bloody-tastic.