Also got this in my email today. It comes from the Natural Home. We can't eat the dandilions here because of the poisens our landlord puts out.
A Dandelion Celebration: Dandy Springtime Greens
By Peter Gail
When many people consider celebrating dandelions, they do so in much the same
spirit as one celebrates over-stayed house guests: the party begins once they're
gone! But the dan*delion, routinely thought of as "lawn enemy number one," is
welcomed and celebrated around the world as both food and medicine.
Dandelions are one of the best wild-vegetable resources in the world. They are
free, abundant, nutritious, and very palatable when collected at the right time,
in the right way, and properly prepared.
Collect dandelion leaves in the spring before the flower buds appear. The best
way to harvest them is to cut the greens with the top of the root still attached
so the leaves stay together. This makes them easier to clean.
Make sure you collect greens that grow significantly back from the road and in
areas that have not been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides.
If buds or flowers have already appeared on your dandelions, harvest them when
flowering is complete. Then cut the old greens and flowers off at the root and
let new greens grow. Harvest the new greens while they are young and tender, and
they will be only slightly more bitter than in early spring.
To reduce bitterness even further, cover growing dandelions with a pot, a piece
of slate, or some other device that will help them blanch as they grow.
Blanching the greens will, however, reduce their nutritional properties.
Wash greens thoroughly to remove any sand or grit, and peel off old leaves.
Nature's Perfect Fast Food
To cook dandelion greens, first wash them thoroughly in slightly warm water,
removing old, discolored, or badly broken leaves. Cut off the roots and any
tough stems, and wash again, lifting the greens out of the water to allow any
sand to settle in the pan. Then sprinkle the greens with salt.
Cook the greens, with only the water that clings to the leaves after washing, in
a tightly covered heavy pot or steamer until they are limp and barely tender.
This takes between 5 and 10 minutes.
Drain greens and finely chop.
Dress greens with your choice of toppings. The foods that complement and best
reduce the apparent bitterness of dandelion greens are olive oil, garlic, pork
or pork fat in some form, eggs, vinegar, lemon juice, cheese, and bread-plus a
bit of salt and pepper. Combining one or more of these ingredients with raw or
cooked dandelions is the best way to enhance your enjoyment of them.
Adapted from Dandelion Celebration by Peter Gail. Copyright © 1994, Peter Gail.
Reprinted with permission of Goosefoot Acres Press.
STEAMED DANDELIONS WITH GARLIC AND CHILI PEPPERS
4-5 quarts fresh dandelion greens 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup water garlic, salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes
Clean and finely chop dandelion greens. Place a maximum of 1 cup water in the
bottom of a 6-quart saucepan; you don't want to use too much water because it
*doesn't mix with the oil. Insert a steamer rack in the saucepan, and place the
dandelion greens on top. Cover the greens with 1/2 cup of 100-percent-pure
extra-virgin olive oil, 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and chili pepper
flakes. Cover and steam until tender. Serve.
Dandy for Your Health
Dandelions offer six health benefits. They are high in Vitamin A, which is
important in fighting cancers of epithelial tissue, including mouth and lung.
They are rich in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and reduce the risk
of strokes. They are high in fiber-helping to fight diabetes, lower cholesterol,
reduce cancer and heart disease risks, and assist in weight loss. Their high
calcium content builds strong bones and can help lower blood pressure. They are
high in B vitamins, which helps reduce stress, and their high iron content helps