Wildflower Recipes

Part 2: Fried Dandelion Blossoms


            Dandelions are probably one of the best known flowers but are also probably the least appreciated. However it should be appreciated since every part of this small yellow wildflower, from it flower to its roots are edible.

            The name dandelion has been slurred from the original  French dent de lion . The yellow flowers appear early in spring on the end of a long, hollow stalk which emits a bitter milky liquid when broken. The long toothy edged leaves grow in rosettes directly from the roots.

            Many people have eaten dandelion greens. They are quite good boiled and if you want a milder tasting dandelion green, you just change the water once during the boiling. The roots also may be scraped and boiled in salted water or they can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. I have not tried either of these but I have heard the coffee substitute is not very tasty.

            It is the blossoms that I like best. As children we eagerly collected up a sink full of dandelions from a large front lawn and field for my father to batter and fry for us. I myself had not been able to show my children how to make fried dandelion blossoms until this year as we have so few of them here but they seem to be increasing in our area and while taking a walk with my daughter we collected up what dandelions we could find. My neighbors had no problem with our picking their dandelions.

            We took them home and soaked them to get any bugs out, then dried them off on some paper towels. I cut off any stems close to the flower heads. In a bowl I mixed 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour,  ˝ tsp salt, 1 egg and a bit of pepper.  I put about a half inch of oil in the bottom of a frying pan (you can also deep fry them but to me this way is just as easy) and started it heating. Dip your blossoms in the batter, then drop them in the hot oil. I found I could only do a few at a time because they cooked so quickly and had to be turned quite fast. When brown on both sides I drained them on more paper towels and salted them.

            I felt quite pleased when my daughter tasted them and pronounced them “good” and then proceeded to eat most of them. We are now collecting as many as we can for a dandelion jelly recipe that I am anxious to try but that will have to wait for another article.


        Rebecca Whitford