The Weed Warrior: Do as the Romans did: Feast on Dandelions

Last year, after my Dandelion Article was published in the Cranbrook Townsman and Kimberley Bulletin, I had an opportunity to enjoy a meal at Pasu Farm — a delightful rural boutique gift shop restaurant northwest of Crossfield, Alberta.

The South African owner/chef replied to my dandelion eating story by saying the Roman Army planted dandelions in every country they invaded, to feed their troops.

That got me thinking about collecting sandwich bags of dandelion flowers this spring and freezing them for fall and winter use. On the May long weekend, 2020, I repeated my dandelion pancake meal for Saturday lunch. It took me four or five minutes to cherry-pick three dozen premium Dandelion Flowers.

If you leave some stem attached, there is more to hold onto when cutting off the green knob at the back of the flower. A kitchen knife or scissors will do the job, but the scissors were more precise.

I was careful to remove any insects from the flowers before bringing them into the house, but still had to deal with three tiny ants that were hidden among the florets, until I washed the flowers in a bowl.

Washing the dandelion flowers before bringing them into the house lets you easily tip the insects onto the lawn.

Like last year, I cracked an egg into a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and stirred the dandelion florets and a little milk into the mixture while the frying pan heated up. The pancakes were delicious! My wife even ate one this time. Okay, just a little one, to be safe, because she is a Newbie to foraging.

If you want to try eating dandelions or serving them to your family, and have not eaten them in other years, just follow the ancient tribal wisdom that advises trying a little sample and waiting a week to see if you have a bad reaction, and that repeating the small-sample test three times over three weeks is a good idea, in case you body is slow to react.

To do that, just add one to three dandelion flowers to one of your favourite pancake or cookie recipes, so your family can safely taste test small amounts of the new-to-you food, weekly, over the following month.

My next dandelion flower adventure will be to try out the Dandelion Peanut Butter cookie recipe found at the website below:

*Warning* only pick dandelions to eat, where you are sure nobody has sprayed herbicide or insecticide near them!

Weed Warrior Frank

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