Foraged Foods: Dandelion

Dandelions are on my bucket list of foraged foods. And they are in season!

I actually don’t see many (or any?) dandelions in Palo Alto. There isn’t a lot of open green lawn space. Fortunately, though, there are plenty of dandelions in my dad’s backyard in Portland.

I have actually already eaten dandelions – the greens anyways. The book, Forage, Harvest, Feast, suggested a few recipes for dandelion greens, including phyllo dandelion squares and a dandelion pie, both of which sound good.

She also has a recipe for pickled dandelion stems. I’ve never eaten dandelion stems before, so now is the time!

I picked a few handfuls of dandelions from the backyard.

I removed their heads, cut the stems in half and packed them into a jar.

The brine is pretty simple: part vinegar, part water with salt, allspice berries, peppercorns, and a little sugar. I used pink peppercorns to be extra forage-y. I poured the brine over the stems and let them marinate in the fridge for a couple of days.

They’re okaaayyyy…kind of reminiscent of pickled asparagus, but less hearty and a bit more bitter. They might be nice on a sandwich (as a substitute for an actual pickle) or in a salad, but other than that, I’m struggling to come up with ways to use these. Overall, I can’t give them a strong recommendation, but if you’re curious, they’re super easy to make, so give it a go.

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