Edible Plants: Dandelion

The Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is one of the most common British weeds.

The name Dandelion comes from the French for lion’s tooth (dent de lion) and came about because of the shape of the leaves.

If you dream of dandelions it is said to bring bad luck.

To blow a dandelion seed head (a dandelion clock) is said to carry your thoughts to your sweetheart, although flower bouquets might be more acceptable!
Dandelion leaves are great in salads – 40m British rabbits can’t be wrong. Pick the youngest leaves, trim off any excess stalk and add to your salad.

You can also eat dandelion roots. Scrub the roots well and roast like parsnips or chop up and sauté in a little oil.

Dandelion roots can also be used as a coffee substitute. Allow the roots to dry in the sun and then dry roast until brittle. Grind the roasted roots and use in a percolator or filter machine.

Dandelion flowers can be used to make dandelion wine and dandelion beer.

The milky latex from the stalks can be used as a cure for warts and as a mosquito repellent.

For a whole host of dandelion recipes take a look at Astray Recipes.

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