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Interesting Info -> Foraging for Edible Medicinal Plants

Spring Foraging / Dandelion Flower Recipe

Dandelions and Miners Lettuce

March 28th / 2013

Miner's LettuceSpring is here; and as wild foods fan, I am stoked.

Yesterday, I stumbled on my first foraged spring treat: Miner's Lettuce. (Likely Siberian Miner's Lettuce.) It tasted fantastic, like baby spinach with a better texture. I ate it raw as a snack while hiking, but looking forward to cooking it up or using it as a salad green.

I noticed dandelions are already popping up, so I grabbed a handful of yellow flowers for a dish I have been wanting to try: Dandelion Fritters. Dandelions are full of nutritional value, and pretty easy to find. (Go for a walk and look down.)

My Dandelion Flower Fritter Recipe:

Ingredients:
Dandelion Flowers, Salt, Pancake Batter, Butter/Oil

Directions:

Step 1: Important: Soak the flowers in a bowl of salted water. I don't measure anything when cooking...but I'm guessing a teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of water with a dozen flowers works well. I soaked them for about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Warm up a frying pan with some butter (preferred) or oil.

Step 3: Drain the water from the flowers, give them a little shake to get off the extra moisture. Then coat with pancake batter (I like the batter on the thin/watery side compared to what you would use for real pancakes.

Step 4: Fry them up! Cook just like you would a pancake: a few minutes on one side...then flip, and a few more minutes.

Step 5: Enjoy. I really like everything about these. My picky 10-year-old liked them, too.

I served them with breakfast. So they got dipped in ketchup. Ha. But, I think a nice sauce would be yogurt or sour cream with fresh chopped dill.

Dandelions

Notes:
The texture is of the flowers is...weird, and the taste is...unique. You'll just have to try them for yourself. Hey, the main ingredient is free.

Pancake Batter - I used a "just add water" pancake batter mix. Originally, the recipe that inspired me used "Bisquick", which I think (guessing)is the same thing as instant pancake mix.

If you wanted a more "from scratch" recipe...make your own batter.
Although I generally cook from scratch, I dig the simplicity of the ready-made mix. Perfect for backpacking / camping trips.

Dandelion Flowers - Some folks say to remove all the green before cooking. Personally I leave a bit of the green on...I like the flavor. Try both ways and see what you prefer.

More About Foraging:

While researching what other foragers are finding this spring, I ran into a great blog post about How to Tap a Birch Tree with this quote:

...as with all foraging, it provides an excuse and opportunity to arrange your life according to the cycles of nature rather than the oppressive dictates of work routines and the terrible tick-tock tyranny of clock time or even traditional calendars.

This quote rings true to me.

Also see: Edible Mushrooms of Vancouver Island - for more info on foraging in the Pacific Northwest.

Photo Credits:
Miner's Lettuce photo - by Alejandro Erickson
Dandelion photo - by ugod

 

 

 

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