Dandelion greens are a flavorful herb that is similar to spinach. If you like sautéed greens then it is wise to grow dandelions in your herb garden. The entire plant is edible; flower, leaves and root.
Dandelion also has medicinal properties; the leaves are a natural diuretic, flowers are used in the preparation of wine and food; salad and pancakes or you can eat them fresh from the plant. Roots are roasted to make a coffee like drink or herbal tea. Dandelion is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and essential B vitamins. So if you want to improve the health of your liver or gallbladder it is wise to add the Dandelion herb to your diet.
Harvest dandelions in a natural setting, such as a meadow or prairie where no pesticide are used or grow dandelions in your herb garden. For the preparation of dandelion greens it is best to baby leaves in early spring. I find that the baby spring leaves taste best and these leaves are high in nutrients. You can pick mature leaves; grown after the flower however they have a stronger bitter taste.
Plan to harvest dandelion leaves in the early morning when the sun is not hot. Leaves tend to wilt it the sun is intense. When harvest baby dandelion greens I usually water the herb garden one hour before I pick the leaves. That way the leaves are plump.
Study your herb garden to determine which dandelion clumps are full and have many baby leaves. Pinch off the baby leaves close to the stem or you can use a garden scissor. Put the leaves in a garden pail and harvest 4 cups of leaves for 4 servings of dandelion greens.
Recipe for Dandelion Greens
Wash the greens thoroughly with cool water. I usually rinse the greens a few times to remove the dirt and insects.
Set your stove heat at medium high.
Add one ounce of extra virgin olive oil to the sauté pan.
Heat the oil.
When the oil is hot add your 4 cups of dandelion greens.
Add 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic. (Fresh garlic cloves)
Cook the greens at medium high until leaves wilt. Flip the greens on the other side so that both sides are cooked.
Season dandelion greens with kosher salt and black ground pepper and serve.
You can purchase dandelion greens at the produce section of your grocery store.
Dandelion is essential in reducing cholesterol
Cleanses the bloodstream
Improves kidney and liver function
The dandelion flower attracts honey bees so this herb is essential for the bee keeper.
No poisonous look-alike plants
If you harvest wild dandelions that are growing close to a rode, move 50 feet away from the road to pick toxin free dandelions.
Dandelions attract butterflies to your yard and garden.