Monday, May 14, 2007

Pissenlit or Dandelions

Dandelions (dente lion) or pissenlit (piss in bed—from its use as a diuretic) is an herb with many uses. Leaves harvested early in spring can be eaten as a salad vegetable; its blossoms make a delicate wine, jelly and syrup for flavoring drinks. Its leaves can also be cooked like spinach.

When cooking older dandelion leaves (now when they are tough, instead of waiting for fresh ones in the Fall) requires a slightly more complicated cooking technique. Gather your greens, rinse, and blanch in boiling water for 10 minutes (this will remove some of the bitterness this green is known for). Drain and continue cooking with fresh water for about 10-20 minutes, or until tender to your taste. Serve with vinegar and oil.

Dandelion greens can also be wilted in a pan of hot oil and a little minced garlic and/or onions. Again, serve with vinegar.

Hard-cooked eggs can be grated or sliced over the greens, as well. And the flavors of your vinegars and oils will change its flavor, too.
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