Imagine our surprise when we found out that our backyard is a veritable gold mine of gastronomic delicasies. Yup, we’re talking about our yard of dandelions! We knew that some old folks make wine from them and that some folks put them in salad, but there is so much more to the story!
Dandelions are nature’s perfect plant! Supplying as much iron as spinach, more beta-carotene than carrots, more lecithin than soybeans, more potassium than bananas, and a whole host of other vitamins and minerals, dandelions are also rumored to help in the treatment of liver problems and digestive disorders. It also is a mean diuretic. Not too shabby, eh??
Some people even think that the original maror eaten at the seder was dandelion greens. Hmm, as anyone who has tried to pull them out of the ground knows, truly it is hard, back-breaking work. No wonder they cried out in distress!
Some good advice: never pick dandelions within 75 feet of the road- they can be contaminated by car exhaust. Pick the leaves and then mow the plant; when new leaves appear, pick them again and again all spring and summer.
As far as store sold dandelions are concerned, beware: most of what is sold in the stores as dandelion is really chicory. Close, but not the same!
Finally, there is a famous French recipe for dandelions called: Creme de Pissenlits. Funny name that one- in French, pissenlit means pee in bed- a reference to the fact that the dandelion is a strong diuretic.