cooking dandelions

Dandelion Gravy

Dandelion Gravy

Dandelion Gravy

I think most people are surprised to find that dandelions were brought to America as a vegetable and were not considered a weed. Today people spend a lot of money and use horrible chemicals to try to kill this very nutritious food source. I’ll give you that dandelions can be bitter. Don’t use the greens when the plant is flowering or just after. Early Spring growth is milder in flavor. After flowering if you cut dandelions back, the new growth will be milder, too. Still, when paired with acidic foods like tomatoes or vinegars, with breads or other starchy foods or with dairy products the bitterness of the dandelion is greatly reduced.

A classic dish using dandelions is dandelion gravy. Some versions use bacon, others not. This one uses bacon, sour cream and is served with boiled potatoes. I made this in class last night and people were pleasantly surprised to find they liked dandelions.

Dandelion Gravy

4 strips bacon
3 T. flour
1 c. water
1 lb. dandelion greens, washed and chopped
½ c. sour cream
1 T. sugar
1 T. vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot boiled or baked potatoes
Fresh chopped parsley, optional

Chop bacon and cook in skillet until crisp. Leave bacon in the pan. Remove all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat and stir in the flour until smooth. Add water and dandelion greens and cook over medium heat until greens are tender- about 5- 10 minutes. Add more water if mixture is too thick. Turn off heat. Combine sour cream with sugar and vinegar and stir into dandelion mixture. Adjust seasonings. Spoon gravy over potatoes.
Serves 4.

Note: If you want leave out the bacon instead add 3 tablespoons of oil to skillet along with the flour.

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