Though it’s the bane of many a lawn-lover, this cheery weed deserves appreciation. All parts of this nutritious plant are edible. It has also been used traditionally for various health conditions. Herbalists commonly utilize dandelion to support the liver and boost digestion.
Dandelion has long been cherished as a nourishing, revitalizing spring tonic. It also lends itself wonderfully to various culinary applications. A caffeine-free, bitter drink that tastes somewhat like coffee can be made from the roasted roots. The greens are wonderful sautéed with a bit of vinegar drizzled over them (though admittedly some folks will find them unpleasantly bitter). I’ve lacto-fermented the flower buds for a caper-like treat. The blossoms are also popularly used to make wine.
One of my favorite ways to use an abundance of fresh dandelion greens is to make large jars of dandelion infused vinegar so I can whip up a tasty vinaigrette whenever I please.
After the initial wait for the vinegar to infuse, the vinaigrette comes together quickly & easily and is a lovely accompaniment to salads.
This tasty dressing is incredibly nutrient dense. Dandelion provides a number of vitamins and minerals, which are readily extracted into the vinegar. It also promotes healthy digestion. Olive oil adds a boost of antioxidants and rich flavor.
For the infused vinegar —
- Fresh dandelion greens, roughly chopped
- Apple cider vinegar
For the vinaigrette —
- 1 ½ Tbsp dandelion infused apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tsp honey
- 2-3 fresh dandelion leaves, finely chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
- A pinch of salt
To make the infused vinegar—
Fill a jar ¾ full with dandelion greens. You can use the flowers, stems, and roots too. All parts of the plant are edible and nutritious.
Pour vinegar over the dandelion, filling the jar to the top with vinegar. Do leave a bit of head space at the top though.
Cap the jar tightly. If the jar has a metal lid, place a piece of wax paper underneath it to help prevent corrosion.
Let infuse for 4-5 weeks in a cool, dark place. Then strain out the herbs and rebottle the liquid. Don’t forget to label your jars! You think you’ll remember what’s in them all, but the truth is, you won’t. (Don’t ask me how I know this.)
To make the vinaigrette—
Add all of the ingredients to a small jar or bottle and cap tightly. Shake vigorously before pouring over a lovely spring salad. Garnish with dandelion flowers, if desired. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator.