During the Great Depression, folks showed off how resourceful they could be. I learned this simple fact while researching for A Cup of Dust.
Need a salad to go with your goulash? Why not find some dandelions?
I’m not kidding.
Apparently, dandelion greens (the leaves that rest tight against the ground) have more calcium than kale. Yup. If they’re full of as many or more nutrients as kale that makes them a ….
You hear that, hipsters?
Here’s what you do to find some dandelions. Go outside.
Easy as that!
Pick your greens and cut off the root, flower, yucky looking parts. Then clean them. A lot. Rub all the dirt off. If you use chemicals on your lawn, don’t use your dandelions. Blech. But if you are au natural about lawn care, your dandy-lions should be fine.
After you wash all the dirt off, let the greens soak for an hour. I know, it’s hard to resist eating weeds, but you really do need to let them soak. After you’ve waited, rinse them about 6 times. If you’ve got time, let them soak again.
Is your mouth watering yet? I bet it is. Just try to have a little self control, would you?
While you’re soaking for the final time, go ahead and mix up your dressing.
All you need is a little oil (I used extra virgin olive oil) and some lemon juice. If you have fresh lemon, good. I used the pre-squeezed stuff. Stir that mixture together until combined.
If you’re so inclined, go ahead and use your hands.
You can let this combo chill for a bit or you can dig right in.
It’s up to you. I wonder if I should have let my dandelion greens marinade in the dressing a bit longer. It may have made a little difference in the texture and taste.
Maybe you can try and let me know how it works for you.
Next comes the inevitable. Tasting.
It was pretty bitter. And tough. And…well…gross. Perhaps I don’t grow the right kind of dandelions. Or I didn’t let them soak long enough. Maybe I should have looked for the biggest leaves I could find.
I could only get one kid to try them. That one kid gave it a “um” and a “uh” until I told her it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if she didn’t like it.
So, she gave it a two thumbs down.
As much as it pains me, I have to agree with her.
However, if one should want to incorporate dandelions into their diet, perhaps mixing a few greens with kale, spinach, or any other leafy salad might be a great idea. They can also be added to those green smoothies some folks are so gah-gah about. They can be cooked into soups or casseroles as well.
As for the Finkbeiner house, we’ll pass. Bring on the kale!