Dandelion Salad, Anyone?
Have you ever had a dandelion salad?
Yes, dandelion salad is a real thing, not just a made up salad that kids make while playing pretend in the back yard. In fact, many commonly found plants are actually edible, including dandelions.
I thought it would be fun to include some easily found leafy appetizers for ENN users to experiment with. Of course, not all plants are edible, so it is important to correctly identify a plant before trying to eat it. There are many apps designed to help beginners identify plants because no one wants a mouthful of poison ivy or foxglove. Eating the wrong plant can be fatal.
Also, I would suggest washing your bounty before putting it in your mouth in order to remove pesticides or flecks of feces laced with parasites.
Laws against foraging may also apply.
All parts of the dandelions are edible. In the spring young dandelion leaves can be used for salads and later in the season they leaves and roots taste well boiled (the boiled water can be made into tea). The yellow flowers are also edible to add color to salads.
Wild asparagus, which looks like the store bought kind only a lot thinner is delicious and high in vitamins.
I remember as a child trying to eat the fuzzy part of the cattail when I was a child. Not a pleasant experience but many parts of the cattail are more enjoyable. The stem and rootstock can be eaten raw or boiled. The cattail’s leaves can be boiled like spinach and the female flower spike can be eaten the corn when the plant first starts developing in the summer.
Garlic Mustard is pungent like horseradish. Their roots can be used similar to horseradish and when the seeds ripen in the summer can be used as a hot spice.
The less lucky three leaf clover can be easily identified and eaten raw or boiled.
Remember, don’t a plant unless you’ve properly identified it!
dandelions via shutterstock
wild asparagus via shutterstock
cattails via shutterstock
garlic mustard via shutterstock
clovers via shuttertock