Last Updated on July 8, 2022 by Share My Kitchen
There may be many dandelions growing in your garden this spring. So, you may choose to make this dandelion salad instead of throwing them out. The perfect accompaniments to this salad are a zippy, garlic dressing and toasty, herby breadcrumbs.
What Is Dandelion Salad?
Dandelions belong to the daisy family, and they are seen in gardens and yards in spring with their bright yellow heads. Also, like a lot of weeds, dandelion greens are edible and make delicious salads.
These dandelion greens are wickedly bitter, but that is exactly a part of its charm. When you cook dandelion greens, the bitterness increases, so it is reasonable to serve them fresh and raw in a salad. However, they taste great when wilted and accompanied by bacon.
Dandelion salads are a popular choice when finances are tight or times are tough since they easily forage during the spring. They were a source of nourishment during the Great Depression and World War II when many home cooks had to forage to get nourishment because of the food rationing.
What’s In It?
In its simplest form, a dandelion green salad is simply made with greens and some kind of dressing. This version, however, will pair dandelions with a zesty, herb-forward garlic dressing, and toasted breadcrumbs seasoned with lemon zest and caraway. It will give you a fantastic result – bright, acidic, and aromatic with just the right amount of salt.
- Dandelion greens are the base of this salad. These bitter green vegetables are rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, and carotenoids, which act as precursors to vitamin A. It is also rich in different minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. They are also good for your metabolic health.
- Lemon adds a good punch of acidity, which balances the salad’s bitter greens. It is also high in vitamin C.
- Mayonnaise and yogurt are the base of the dressing. The fat found in these ingredients helps you absorb fat-soluble nutrients from dandelions, particularly vitamin K, and other antioxidants like beta carotene.
- Garlic adds a zesty flavor to the dressing and is used traditionally to treat colds, improve metabolic health, and support the heart. Researchers believe that garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties are due to its sulfur-containing compounds.
- The addition of parsley and tarragon enhances the dressing’s flavor, complementing the garlic. Parsley and tarragon are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, just like most herbs.
- The breadcrumb topping is flavored with caraway seeds, which complement the lemon zest. The flavor is similar to rye bread and has a bright herbal taste with citrus and celery notes.
How to Pick Dandelion Greens for Salad
Dandelion greens can be purchased at many grocery stores and farmer’s markets in the spring. You can also forage for them around your own neighborhood.
These are easy to recognize and clean. More than that, it’s fun to pick your own salad greens, and it saves you some money as well.
- Find tender dandelions, those with smaller and thinner leaves. They tend to be less bitter and the most tender.
- Dandelion greens can be harvested from plants that haven’t yet flowered. The leaves can turn bitter once the plant flowers.
- Only pick greens from clean areas. Wild herbs, such as dandelion greens, can absorb contaminants and other toxic substances. So, avoid picking them near roadways, or areas where toxic chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers may be used, like those growing in public parks and private lawns.
- You should look for fields that aren’t irrigated or treated with pesticides and away from busy roads.
- Don’t forage in areas where it’s illegal to do so. Therefore, avoid private properties, and make sure to review the rules for foraging in public parks and forests. These guidelines can be viewed online, although they may vary from one place to another.
How to Prepare Dandelion Greens for Salad
It is simple to prepare a dandelion salad. If you decided to buy your dandelion greens from the store, you will only need to rinse them. If you have foraged your greens yourself, however, you will need to do a few more steps.
- To remove dirt and other debris, place the greens in a bowl of cold water and swirl them around.
- Use a kitchen towel to gently pat them dry.
- You can remove the unusable parts, like the stems, browned leaves, and dandelion roots. But the dandelion root can be reserved and roasted. It is a traditional ingredient in herbal coffees.
- Rinse the cleaned greens again, and pat dry them with a kitchen towel or a salad spinner.
- Keep the greens in a resealable plastic bag until you are ready to make a dandelion salad. They will keep for about 5 days.
Most salads can be modified to suit your needs. This is also true for this dandelion salad recipe. It is easy to prepare the greens, and the dressing and breadcrumb topping is not difficult to make as well.
- To make the dressing, use a blender. However, if you don’t have one, an immersion blender or a food processor will work well. If you’d prefer, you can whisk the ingredients by hand, but it will take longer.
- While toasting breadcrumbs, be sure to keep an eye on them. They can go from pleasantly toasted to burned in a short amount of time.
- All components of the salad should be kept separate until you are ready to serve them. The salad will not be as fresh if you combine it too soon. The greens will wilt, and the breadcrumbs are sure to become soggy in the dressing.
Dandelion Salad Recipe
|Prep Time||Total Time|
|15 mins||15 mins|
For the Dressing
- 1 medium lemon
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons yogurt
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 2 anchovies (packed in oil, finely chopped)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
For the Breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- ½ teaspoon finely ground real salt
- ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
For the Salad
- 4 ounces dandelion greens (coarsely chopped)
- 1 medium shallot (sliced paper-thin)
- small bowl
- High-Speed Blender
- 10-inch skillet
- large bowl
For the Dressing
- First, scrub the lemon under running water, and then dry it with a kitchen towel. Finely grate all of the zest from the lemon, but avoid the bitter pith. Place the lemon zest in a small bowl, then cut the lemon in half crosswise and squeeze its juice using a food processor or a blender.
- Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, garlic, anchovies, chives, and parsley into the blender. Then, puree until it becomes a smooth dressing. Pour the puree into a small jar, seal it, and leave it in the refrigerator as you make the breadcrumbs and salad.
For the Breadcrumbs
- Place a 10-inch skillet on the stove over medium heat. Once you feel the heat coming from the skillet, drizzle some olive oils, and stir in the breadcrumbs, caraway seeds, salt, and black pepper. Continue stirring until the breadcrumbs are nicely toasted, then remove the pan from heat and add the reserved lemon zest.
For the Dandelion Salad
- Toss the dandelion greens and the shallot in a large bowl. Then, sprinkle with the toasted breadcrumbs, and drizzle the dressing over the greens. Serve immediately.