these delicate fried dandelions will remind you of the summer and blooming meadows. What’s striking about them, apart from their savory taste, are also their medicinal benefits. The sweet taste of fried dandelions is highlighted with whipped cream dip or maple syrup toppings.
Make sure you don’t miss it as this unique opportunity to taste this easy to grow food-source comes just once a year.
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Every time the meadow behind our house turns yellow, it beckons me to go and pick the dandelions before it turns white. Although dandelions bloom over the summer, there’s never enough and their taste is different. I picked up two baskets the other day and the whole house smelled like dandelions, the whole kitchen was sprinkled with the yellow pollen. My son came to the kitchen in the morning and says, “Hope we won’t have those flowers for lunch today?” And because I didn’t have anything else ready, I said why not. He just rolled his eyes…
Last year we had elderflower fritters several times and my children loved them. So I thought why not make fried dandelions…For a change, I thought I’d make them sweet with cream and maple syrup.
“Some people need flowers, some people need dandelions. It’s medicine, it’s what you need at that time in your life.” Sandra Cisneros
First of all, dandelion is not just a flower, it is a medicinal flower. Its benefits were known in ancient China, Arabia or Europe where they ate it raw or in the form of juice or tonic. Traditionally dandelions were used to improve digestion and help the liver heal. While some people chewed the roots to relieve pain others used steamed dandelion leaves topically to relieve a sore throat.
Nowadays dandelions are known for their variety of benefits to our health. However, they are also becoming more and more popular in the kitchen.
And not only the blossoms but also the roots and leaves are packed with nutrients. While dandelion roots are used to make dandelion root coffee, the leaves made their way to the world of salads, smoothies or pestos.
Dandelion blossoms are excellent in the kitchen for making dandelion cupcakes, dandelion honey, wine or dandelion fritters.
How to forage dandelions
- The great advantage of dandelions is their availability and easy identification. These easy to grow herbs are everywhere, just keep your eyes open, Find meadows that have not been treated on with pesticide and fellow foragers. Also, watch out for places that are near roads as they can pick up pollution or pathways where many dogs or cats visit.
- Forage on a sunny day when the blossoms are wide open and are not wet from previous days rain. Ideally, when you bring the blossoms home you should start to prepare them for lunch or dinner. They fade very quickly and that makes it difficult to prepare them. Storing them in the fridge for later use is also not recommended as they will close up.
- Don’t wash them as the pollen is the ingredient with a great taste and smell so don’t get rid of it. Make sure they are bugs free.
- Avoid any bitterness by removing the bitter tasting green receptacle at the base of the flower. You can cut it off with scissors or a paring knife or remove it by pinching, squeezing, and rolling the receptacle until the yellow flowers come free. (watch the video for instructions)
What do fried dandelions taste like?
If you collect young dandelion petals you will enjoy their sweet honey-like taste. However, if you go for matured flowers you might feel some bitterness. The bitterness can be reduced by removing the bracts underneath. Some people like their bitter taste.
Can you eat raw dandelions?
All parts of the dandelion plant are fully edible in the cooked or raw version. Moreover, they belong to one of the most nutritious plants and can be compared to superfoods. In this study, scientists studied more than 1000 foods and gave each of them a nutritional score. Dandelions ranked #16 on the list of the top 100 most nutritious foods, leaving spinach, sweet potatoes, ginger, carrot, rhubarb, and others behind.
Dandelion fritter recipe
Considering their sweet taste dandelions go nicely with a sweet coating. accompanied with whipped cream they can make a tasty dessert that will surprise your family or friends. If you wish to make their salty version don’t forget to accompany them with white yogurt and mint dip.
Few tips to make your fried dandelions perfect:
Before you begin be aware that dandelions can leave stains on your clothes and are hard to get rid of. So make sure you wear either an apron or something you don’t mind getting stained.
When you go to collect the dandelions calculate 10 blossoms per person. For every 10 blossoms, you will need 1 egg. When you make your coating feel free to experiment and use various spices.
The whole science is in the right choice and preparation of coating. Do not think to just mix a little flour, eggs, and spices, soak the blossoms and throw them into the hot oil. certainly not if you aim for perfection.
- DENSITY OF COATING The mixture must be thick enough to cover the dandelion blossoms wrapped around the surface and not to run down anywhere. They say that when you drop a drop of coating on an inverted spoon, this drop should stay nicely bulged and about half a centimeter tall. On the other hand, the batter must not be too thick, otherwise, it will be spongy, rubbery and tough after frying. Ideally, the soaking dipstick looks like thick cream or pancake dough.
- LAST MINUTE Definitely don’t let the coating stand long and prepare it last minute before frying. Otherwise, it becomes unnecessarily degraded and loses its taste, quality and crispiness by standing idle too long.
- SPEED OF FRYING The longer you let the delicate flowers of the dandelion stay in the hot oil, the less you will find on the plate. They simply disappear in the heat. So fry for a short time at a higher temperature, aim for a gold colored coating. If you heat the saucepan well, you will fry one flower in just 20-30 seconds.