The first dandelions of the spring are here! It is official when little yellow flowers begin to pop up above the jagged leaves of the "lion's tooth.” While dandelion greens are available year-round, they’re at their best in the spring because they’re less bitter. You want to choose the more tender young leaves. The young leaves have a pleasing bitterness that is offset by an earthy richness. I can find these greens as I forage on my land, but they are also available at your local farmers market. Keep your leftover dandelion flowers or flower heads and any leaves to make Dandelion Tea or make a Dandelion Tincture—the whole dandelion plant can be used—root, leaves, flower and stem! Dandelion root is for detoxification of the liver and gallbladder. Dandelion leaves are detoxification for the kidneys. Dandelion flowers have antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals to improve the immune system.
Dandelion seeds will carry your wishes on the air. Once the dandelion turns into seed, you will not recognize the dandelion. They have a long stem, a slender green tube stalk with a white globe of exposed seeds or white puffballs. If you close your eyes, make a wish, and then blow into the white cottony seed head, all the seeds will float into the wind to carry your dreams.
Recipe for Dandelion Greens
1 pound dandelion greens, cut into 4-inch pieces crosswise, removing the tough lower stems
1/4 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 garlic clove minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, to taste
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