Dandelions are chock-full of nutrients.  As an herbal remedy, the dandelion can address 90% of what ails us.

400 years ago there were no dandelions in America.  Some of the earliest European visitors brought dandelion plants and seeds with them.  Native Americans who were unfamiliar with these new plants quickly discovered the healthy benefits! 

DANDELION SHORTBREAD COOKIES

 

½ cup butter, room temperature

½ cup powdered sugar

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

½ cup chopped dandelion flower petals

​Preheat oven to 300°F

Lightly grease 9" square baking pan.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla. 

Beat in the flour, then gently turn the petals into the mixture.

Note: this is a dry mixture, but it will come together. If it refuses, sprinkle some water into the mix    until everything sticks.

Transfer the dough into the pan, using your fingers to press it into an even layer.

Using a fork, stab the dough all over (to allow steam to escape and prevent bubbling). 

Bake until top is light golden brown, deeper golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven, and immediately turn shortbread onto a cutting surface.

While still hot, cut shortbread into smaller pieces (a pizza cutter works great).

Transfer to cooling rack.

Leftovers will keep well in a container, or freeze nicely for future treats.

DANDELION JELLY

 

3 cups dandelion heads
3 cups water
1 tbsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans split
Lemon, cut into 3-4 thick pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks

4 cups sugar

 

Bring dandelion heads, water, vanilla, lemon, and cinnamon to a rolling boil and simmer 30 minutes.

Turn off, cover, and allow to steep at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Strain and then squeeze with hands until no more liquid is dripping out.

Return liquid to the pan, add sugar, and simmer at a low rolling boil for 2-3 hours.

Stir every 20-30 minutes to prevent burning.

Sterilize jars, and rims, and pour hot jelly into hot jars.

Secure lid, and you’re done.

Store in a cool dark place for up to a year.

DANDELION CHIPS

 

Fresh large dandelion leaves
Olive oil
Spices of your choosing or a sauce of your choice

 

Preheat oven to 200°F.
Place the dandelion leaves in a bowl.

Add a little oil and spices of your choice (or a splash or two of your favorite sauce such as teriyaki).

Mix well to ensure all leaves are covered.
Put some parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Place dandelions individually on the sheet.

Bake 5 to 15 minutes until they are crispy.

The size and thickness of the leaves will determine baking time.

Serving Tip: Crumble your baked dandelion leaves over a salad, mashed potatoes, or anything else you feel it would complement well.

DANDELION NOODLES

 

1¼ cups dandelion leaves

2 tablespoons water

1 egg

Salt

1¼+ cups flour

 

Place the dandelion leaves and water in a saucepan.  Cover and cook until the leaves are tender.  Allow to cool for several minutes.

Add the egg and a pinch or two of salt.

Using an immersion blender or a traditional blender, puree the mixture.

Pour the leaf mixture into a large mixing bowl and stir in 1 cup of flour.  If the dough is still soft, add a little more flour and mix again, repeating until the dough is stiff.

Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface, such as the counter.  Knead for about 1 minute.

With the rolling pin, roll the dough very thin.  Leave the sough as is for 20 minutes.

Loosely roll the dough.  Use a sharp knife to cut strips ¼ inch wide.  Unroll and cut into noodles of whatever length you desire.

You may now cook the noodles, or you may dry them for storage.  To dry the noodles, leave them in a single layer on the lightly floured counter, place them in a food dehydrator, or hang them on a pasta drying rack or a clothes drying rack.  To avoid spoilage, be sure the noodles are completely dry before storing them.

DANDELION PESTO

 

12 ounces washed and cleaned dandelion leaves

1 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled

6 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted (walnuts are tasty, too)

1½  teaspoons sea salt

2½ ounces Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

 

Put about one-third of the dandelion greens in the food processor or blender with the olive oil and chop for a minute, scraping down the sides. Add the remaining dandelion greens in two batches, until finely chopped.

Add garlic cloves, nuts, salt, and cheese, and process until everything is a smooth puree.

Taste, and add more salt if necessary.

If it’s too thick, you can thin it with more olive oil or water.

The pesto can be refrigerated in a jar for up to four days. The top may darken, which is normal. You can pour a thin layer of olive oil on top to prevent that.

It can also be frozen for up to two months.

 

Serving Tips:

Spread over pizza with cooked potatoes slices, then baked.

Smeared on crostini over a layer of fresh spreadable cheese.

Use to dress potato salad.

Toss with whole wheat pasta with chicken or roasted vegetables. Reserve a bit of the pasta cooking liquid to help smooth the sauce over the hot noodles. 

Topping or swirl for a bowl of soup.

DANDELION ROOT CHAI

 

1 tablespoon dried dandelion root pieces

2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

6 cardamom pods, crushed

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 inch fresh ginger, thinly sliced

4 cups water

Milk (of your choice)

Honey

 

Place the dandelion root and spices into a 2-quart pot and cover with the water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Strain into a quart jar using a fine mesh strainer.

Pour into mugs, top off with milk, then sweeten to taste with honey.