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  • Writer's pictureMariana L.

The Dandiest of Dandelions

I recently saw a post on the Pawling Community Group where someone asked for help getting rid of dandelions. Most people see them as weeds, but I learned recently in my foraging research that they are a nutrient-rich herb. In addition to being an effective liver/kidney detoxifier, dandelions are a source of vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium, iron and potassium.

A ll parts of the dandelion plant are edible, though how you prepare them will significantly effect their appeal. I created the following recipes that were published in a recent edition of First for Women Magazine:


Honey Lemon Dandelion Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½ tsp. salt

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup honey (preferably raw honey)

  • 3 eggs, room temperature

  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese

  • ½ cup buttermilk, whole milk or heavy cream

  • 1 ½ cups of fresh dandelion flower petals (remove any green parts)

  • For decoration: edible flowers (dandelions, violets, pansies, rose petals, etc.)

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 ½ Tbs. lemon juice

Directions:

  • Active: 15 mins

  • Total time: 2 hrs, 10 mins

  • Yield: 1 loaf cake (approximately 8 servings)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.

  2. Dry mixture: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

  3. Wet mixture: In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar, honey and lemon zest with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, until combined. Stir in lemon juice, vanilla, ricotta and buttermilk.

  4. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture and mix until just combined. Add dandelion flower petals and gently hand mix or fold them with a flexible spatula.

  5. Pour the batter into loaf pan. Gently tap pan on a countertop to remove air bubbles.

  6. Bake 45 minutes, or until center is just set and a toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out mostly clean. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes before flipping loaf onto a wire rack to cool completely; about 1 hour.

  7. For glaze: Whisk lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar. Add additional lemon juice or confectioners’ sugar if needed to achieve desired consistency.

  8. Spoon glaze on top of the cake and decorate with edible flowers. Slice and serve.



Dandelion Green Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups young dandelion leaves, thoroughly washed and cleaned

  • 3 to 6 garlic cloves

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • ⅓ cup lemon juice

  • ¼ to ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated


Directions:

  • Active: 10 mins

  • Total time: 15 minutes

  • Yield: about 1 cup

  1. Pulse all ingredients except olive oil in food processor until a paste forms. While themachine is still running, pour olive oil in thin stream; allowing pesto to form.

  2. Toss pesto with cooked pasta like tortellini (see photo above) or pasta of choice.You can also use pesto to top fish or chicken. Enjoy!

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