Friday, 4 February 2011

Dandelion Greens

I had grown up sitting on the lawn trying to find a 4 leaf clover and making dandelion necklaces and bracelets for myself or my sister or my little neighbour but never saw myself weeding them out to make a salad.  When we were little, one time I remember we had gone somewhere on a picnic and my mother saw alot of dandelions and she got us picking the leaves and the roots saying the we could eat them and what a good source of free food.  When we got back home it didnt live up to her expectations and she was never tempted again to out to our lawn and partake of these delights.  Dandelion Greens are very healthy and they make a nice side dish or can be used as a meze.
I lived in Konya for 2 years and one thing I noticed was the women picking weeds.  I took a closer look and saw it was dandelions.  These dandelions were all  a bit different from the normal ones I had seen growing in our lawn.  All different shapes and sizes but all Delicious.  The women told me they ate them as a salad by themselves or mixed in with a salad but  no one  ever gave me a specific recipe.  I remembered when I had lived in Adana that I went to my friends house and she had made a dish.  Dandelion salad, at first I was a bit tentative to taste it as I had remembered my mothers experiments with it.  After the first bite I was taken, such a lovely dish but I had never made it as I hadn't been anywhere where I could find enough of them to make a meal out of.  After 2 cold years of living in Konya we moved to Gaziantep where we still are.  Guess what I saw at the local Bazar? Dandelion greens for sale and 1 lira a kilo.  I bought half a kilo even though the woman was pushing that I buy 2.  I recreated my friends recipe and we have been hooked ever since.  Half a kilo is enough for a family meal or for my husband and myself 2 times.  
500grams dandelion leaves
juice of one lemon
garlic to taste or 4 cloves
Wash the dandelion leaves well and chop roughly.  Put into saucepan and just cover with water, boil for about 5 minutes.  Drain the leaves.  İn a fry pan saute diced garlic cloves for a couple of minutes then add the dandelion leaves and continue for about another 3 minutes.  Take off the heat and place into serving bowl, pour the lemon juice over the leaves and chill. I usually mash the oil, lemon juice and salt into the leaves for a couple of seconds to bring out the flavours. This salad tastes nice if left a few hours before serving.

(for this recipe İ am generous with the oil, İ usually cook with no oil or very little for this İ would probably use 3 tablespoons of oil)

I have a Dandelion Soup recipe here.


  1. I remember that too, we were on a picnic wern't we? Mum also tried dandelion coffee, which is quite nice. And I remember being given 5c per one we weeded out of the lawn too- but it had to have the root as well. The salad sounds nice as well.

  2. Yes it was I dont remember getting any promised money though. (I thought we were posting anonomusly so people didnt know we were related:p)

  3. Lol - busted! ;) I've had mixed experiences with dandelions. I've had pretty good success with my dandelion wine, but the greens can be trickier to select in their prime. I've had some that were so bitter that I had to spit them out.

    Here in the states, especially in the south they sell "chicory coffee" which is very much like dandelion root coffee - somewhat of an aquired taste.

  4. I love Chicory coffee, my mother always seemed to have a bottle of that. I think there are different varieties of dandelions or maybe it is a family as you can see from the photo they dont look like the normal garden variety do they? The ones with the yellow flowers seem to be bitter. The smaller the leaves the nicer they are is the rule of thumb it seems. Good luck. BTW will be attempting that wine when I get back.

  5. I have a dandelion tea every morn -good liver cleanser. Even better if Teve makes it for me :-)

  6. All our secrets are coming out now! Is that made from leaves picked from your lawn or is it a premade mix?