Cooked Dandelion Greens

Did you know dandelion greens are edible?

I found a beautiful clump of dandelion growing under one of our elderberry bushes. I’ve been wanting to try dandelion, so I was excited to find the new Spring growth.

Although every part of the plant can be eaten (leaves, flowers, roots), I didn’t want to entirely uproot it yet. Instead, I picked off almost all of the leaves, leaving some to remain with the flower buds so that the plant could continue to grow.

How To Cook Dandelion Greens | newlifeonahomestead.com
I was pretty sure I had positively identified it, but I hopped online to compare the plant with other pictures of dandelions, just to be sure. Turns out, there are some very close look-alikes to dandelion, but none are poisonous if accidentally confused.

How To Cook Dandelion Greens | newlifeonahomestead.com
I washed the leaves thoroughly, then spun them in the salad spinner to dry. Although you can eat the leaves fresh, I decided to cook them to reduce bitterness.

I cut the leaves in half, and diced some garlic to toss in with them. Onions would have been nice as well.

How To Cook Dandelion Greens | newlifeonahomestead.com
After heating a couple of tablespoons of Olive Oil in a pan, I gently sauteed the greens and garlic until they were soft. About 10 min.

How To Cook Dandelion Greens | newlifeonahomestead.com
They were still a tad bit bitter, but not terrible. It made it easier to enjoy them knowing they are packed with Vitamin A and other nutrients. They’ve been said to help purify the blood and detox the liver.

According to The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody (p.103):

LEAVES: An effective diuretic, the leaves are rich in potassium, which is generally lost with frequent urination. They are used for fluid retention, especially with heart problems, and for other urinary disorders. The leaves are also an effective liver and digestive tonic.

Dandelions are a great introduction to wild foraging, if you’re new to eating “weeds”. I look forward to experimenting with the blossoms and roots as well.

*UPDATE: After looking a little more closely at my foraging books, and listening to the advice of my awesome readers, I now understand that it is best to pick dandelion greens before the flowers bloom in order to reduce bitterness.

Have you ever had cooked dandelion greens? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

You might also enjoy:

Kendra
About Kendra 1123 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

23 Comments

  1. The root can be used to lighten liver spots also..just rub the liquid from the root onto the liver spots 2-3 times daily.

  2. als kind aten we deze plant als salade
    als je niet van bitter houd, dan moet je plant met aarde bedekken, de bladeren worden dan wit zoals witloof en zijn dan vรฉรฉl lekkerder

    Rough English translation: As a child we ate this plant as a salad
    if you do not like bitter, then you should cover it with earth plant, the leaves are then white as chicory and are much better

  3. Hi Kendra,dandelion petals make jelly also. It is pretty mild but my family like it. It is a change from the hot pepper,
    Rhubarb, rose & fireweed jams I make. Soft set so works good on pancakes.
    Enjoy your site & will be sautรฉing some greens tonite. Ak. Is having a beautiful Spring so there is great foraging.

  4. I made dandelion flower fritters last year, and they are really good! I mix the young leaves in with other lettuces for salad. Even if they’re a little bitter, it’s not noticeable mixed into the salad.

  5. We have dandelion fritters here every single year. I take the flowers fresh picked, rinse them in a bit of water from our artesian well, dip them in raw scrambled egg fresh from our hen house, roll them in corn meal or corn muffin mix then flash fry them about ten to twelve seconds in either our deep fryer or a hot skillet with olive oil. They cook extremely quickly and I have found that even kids love them. A lot of people recommend that you only eat the flower itself and take off the green part of the base where the stem attaches because it can leave a bitter flavor but I find this not to be a problem. We love our dandelion fritters here. Of course the greens can be par boiled if you like then cooled and balled up and dipped in the egg and rolled in the cornmeal as well to make a kind of hush puppy and those too are very good. And yes there are a few dandelion look a likes but they too are completely edible. The only thing that I would advise is that if you have a latex allergy try not to get the white liquid sap on you because it is a natural latex and can cause a reaction if you are allergic.

  6. It looks really good. Might be nice as a pastry filling too (like you would do with spinach). My little girl loves dandelions so it will be nice to show her that she can eat them. Will try this soon, we too have so many of them. Thanks.

  7. When growing up, every spring my mom made hot dandelion greens and served them with boiled potatoes–we just smashed the potatoes on our plates and smothered them with the hot dandelion–Yummmmmm! How I miss that. I tried to make it once for my hubby and he did not like it at all. (Sure miss my mom’s cooking.)

    She would take some bacon grease, add some flour, thicken like gravy, then add some vinegar and sugar, prob a little salt too. Once thick, add your greens to wilt. There are various recipes online that have to be similar to what she made. Of course, she did not use a recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You do want to pick the leaves before flowering. The younger leaves are more tender and less bitter. You can also pick the buds and add them in with the leaves…I always liked to get one of those in a bite of greens.

    Who knew when I was growing up that these were so healthy! I think we used them because they were free and so prolific.

  8. I remember my mom every spring watching for the dandelions to come up. Then out she would go, knife in hand to “harvest”. She ALWAYS did this before the flower came out because she said after the flower bloomed they became bitter, but was great if you could get them before the flower was there. Dad loved them. I never tried them,or the “cow slips” they picked near the brooks, however I have picked and cooked many “fiddlehead greens”, a fern that was very good. All she used was a little water with salt but the way you tried sounds really good!

  9. I can remember my grandma cooking these. at the table she sprinkled on a little salt and pepper, and a splash of cider vinegar. I remember it as good. might try adding a little to see what you think of it?

  10. It’s true, Karen, about eating them to get rid of them! When I was digging up the soil last year for my garden, I kept all the dandelions to make dandelion root coffee, and hardly any have been coming up in that area this year. You definitely have to re-seed after using the roots if you want them to keep coming back. Just be sure you know what’s been in your yard. If you just moved into a new house or rent, best to wait a couple to few years (not sure how long but there is research out there to be found) to be sure that any herbicide is long gone. We have been here six years, so I felt safe eating them. Also, beware, when people find out you are doing this, you will get A LOT of smarmy comments to come get their dandelions too…lol!

  11. Boy, wish you were close, I’ve got about an acre of them in my front yard. I’ve never seen so many come up as this year.

  12. Kendra, I think that if you pick the greens before the flowers appear, you’ll find that they aren’t quite as bitter. I haven’t eaten them myself but I’ve been told by friends who do that they try to harvest the leaves first thing as they come up. I think that it’s lovely that you don’t want to uproot the plant right away, here most people don’t appreciate it a bit and are always trying to find ways to eradicate it–although we had an amazing local organic farmer that grew them as a crop, with companies vying for different parts of the plant. One wanted the flowers for wine, one wanted leaves for greens, and another based in Japan wanted the roots for a coffee substitute. An incredible way to make use of what most people consider an annoying weed!

    • Thank you, Rosalyn. I’ll definitely try to find more without blooms ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet you’re right about the bitterness. I was thinking about what a shame it is that people actually spend big $$ to have dandelions sprayed in their yard- not realizing what an amazingly nutritious food it is. While people are busy trying to get rid of them, here I am scouring our property trying to find more! I definitely want to try roasting the roots for a coffee substitute. I hope I’m able to find plenty of dandelions this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.