margonaut blog archive (2004-2014)


free salad

It's that time of year when the newest dandelion leaves make a tasty and nutritious alternative to other greens in salads and in cooking. I'll be throwing some in the juicer for a vitamin and mineral boost.

Make sure you pick them from land that hasn't been sprayed and isn't super close to exhaust fumes...

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  1. I wonder if anyone has ever cultivated Taraxacum officinale in a herb/salad window box garden and just continuously harvested the fresh growths of leaves and treat it as a perennial that’s not allowed to flower. I don’t think you could kill it. In fertile soil the tap root would probably get very impressive in a couple of years. The leaves make a nice peppery astringent sort of highlight to a regular salad.

    I did see a 5 acre field this morning that’s wall-to-wall dandelions and probably good for many bushels of greens. I think you definitely would want to “wash-the-dickens” out of it before munching or juicing.

    It is certainly a fun little addition to the menu. And the rhubarb will be ready in a couple of weeks!

  2. And because I am so highly suggestible to a certain range of ideas…..I picked my biggest plastic bowl full of dandelion greens last evening and mixed them in with the fancier lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, carrots and zucchini that normally go in my salads. It tasted just fine with my usual thyme, garlicy vinegary olive oil emulsion I use as a dressing.

    But I noticed that when the dandelion leaves were eaten alone, a couple of mouthfuls was all I seemed to need to satisfy that particular curiousity. I didn’t try cooking it like maybe spinach or collard greens. I’m sure it would taste good wilted down and covered with butter, salt & pepper. But I am guessing the dandelion will continue to be excluded from most home gardens.

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