Dandelions are a good source of calcium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C, and can be a good addition to any salad, but rather than taking dandelions from your own yard that are probably contaminated with lawn chemicals, buy safe dandelion greens from your local health food store or farmers market.
Dandelion greens are the weed/salad ingredient that unites the world.
Ask an Italian, Sicilian, Basque or African cook, and they'll probably be able to reminisce about using dandelion greens as a cooked vegetable or in a snappy salad.
You'll find Maskrossallad on a Swedish midsummer feast's menu, a cold salad of gooseberries, dandelion greens, butter lettuce and crumbled goat cheese are dressed with a little oil, lemon or lime juice, a dash of minced garlic and chopped parsley.
Don't think unkind thoughts about this common lawn "ornament" --- but don't go out and pluck the ones from your lawn and put them straight on your menu, either.
Early North American colonists brought the dandelion to America from Europe.
They are a good source of calcium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
One cup of dandelion greens has as much calcium as half a glass of milk.
Vitamin A is important for eye health, for building a healthy immune system and for maintaining skin integrity.
Now, before you get excited about turning your lawn into dinner, know that lawn dandelions are rarely acceptable to eat.
In the good old days, dandelions were picked where the grass grew tall and free before the last spring frost and before the first yellow dandelion bloomed.
Eating dandelion greens picked after the blooms have flowered are very bitter and chewy.
The first edible portion appears as a slightly reddish tangle of leaves.
Unless you have a safe dandelion patch, we suggest you break down and purchase dandelion
greens at local farmers markets or grocery stores.
Before cooking dandelion greens, wash them very well with water, to remove all the sand and dirt, then place them in a pot and pour boiling water over them.
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