By Tom and Joanne O’Toole

Issue #82 • July/August, 2003

For dandelion gourmets there are many ways to prepare this amazing weed, and to include it in soups, salads, main courses, desserts, and wine.

Here are a few recipes you might want to try.

Dandelion soup

2 quarts dandelion greens, loosely packed
2 quarts chicken soup
1 lb. mixed ground beef, veal, and pork
1 egg
2 Tbsp. bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
1 Tbsp. minced onions (extra fine)
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. seasoned pepper
Dash nutmeg
3 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. sour cream

Bring chicken soup to a boil. Add dandelion. Cook gently. If desired, ½ cup rice or 1 cup fine egg noodles can be added. Make very tiny meatballs out of remaining ingredients. When greens are tender, add meatballs and cook gently 10 minutes or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked. Serve hot with Italian or French bread.

Dandelion salad with eggs

2 quarts cleaned dandelion (cut into ½-inch pieces)
½ medium-sized onion, minced very fine
oil (olive or as desired)
vinegar (wine or as desired)
(Proportion of oil to vinegar is 3:1)

Season with ½ tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. garlic salt. Dry the cleaned dandelion carefully. Mix all of the ingredients together gently. Then taste and add more seasonings as needed.

Boil enough hard boiled eggs to allow at least 2 per person. Eggs may be sliced into the salad. However, many prefer to serve the eggs separately, letting each person help himself.

Italian dandelion casserole

1 lb. ground beef (or beef and pork mixed)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
¼ cup milk
6-8 cups dandelion greens
1 15 oz. can tomatoes, drained
1 cup chicken stock or bouillon
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together meat, bread crumbs, parsley, onion, salt, egg, and milk. Form 40 to 45 small meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. Brown them in oil. Drain and set aside. Wash dandelion greens. In a buttered casserole alternate layers of dandelions, browned meatballs, and tomatoes. Add the chicken stock or bouillon. Season with salt and pepper and simmer 20-30 minutes. Yields 6-8 servings. When serving the casserole, have hot pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese available on the table.


1. Add a layer of onions.

2. Season the meatballs with garlic salt or add finely chopped garlic to the casserole.

3. Add other herbs—oregano, basil, or marjoram.

Dandelion wine

1 gallon flower heads
3 lbs. sugar
1 ounce yeast
1 gallon water
2 lemons

Remove petals by gathering them between the fingers while holding the base of the flower head. Put petals in the fermenting vessel and pour on three quarts of boiling water. Leave to soak for seven days, well covered. Stir daily and cover again at once. Strain and wring out fairly tightly and return the liquor to the fermenting vessel. Boil half the sugar in a pint of water and when cool add to the liquor, then add the yeast and the juice of two lemons.

Cover as directed and ferment for seven days. Then pour carefully into a gallon jar, leaving as much deposit behind as you can. Boil the rest of the sugar in the remaining pint of water and when cool add to the rest. Cover as directed or fit fermentation lock and leave until all fermentation has ceased.

For more ways to satisfy your palate, you can purchase Dandelion and Regional Favorites Recipe Book, with 16 recipes for dandelion specialties, from the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce for $4.50. Write to 18 North East Avenue, P.0. Box 489, Vineland, New Jersey 08360-0489. (800) 309-0019.


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