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THIS WEED IS A DELICACY : DANDELION

Dandelion is probably the toughest plant around. It can withstand the frostiest of winters. They grow like wild fire too, and in poor soil conditions. We are totally considering growing these on our balcony from the seeds we collect in summer. We can eat dandelion, yes, it tastes like rocket and it is probably the silliest thing you would be paying for in a restaurant.

The young leaves of the Dandelion make an agreeable and wholesome addition to spring salads and are often eaten on the Continent, especially in France. The full-grown leaves should not be taken, being too bitter, but the young leaves, especially if blanched, make an excellent salad, either alone or in combination with other plants, lettuce, shallot tops or chives.

Young Dandelion leaves make delicious sandwiches, the tender leaves being laid between slices of bread and butter and sprinkled with salt. The addition of a little lemon-juice and pepper varies the flavour. The leaves should always be torn to pieces, rather than cut, in order to keep the flavour.

The young leaves may also be boiled as a vegetable, spinach fashion, thoroughly drained, sprinkled with pepper and salt, moistened with soup or butter and served very hot. If considered a little too bitter, use half spinach, but the Dandelion must be partly cooked first in this case, as it takes longer than spinach. As a variation, some grated nutmeg or garlic, a teaspoonful of chopped onion or grated lemon peel can be added to the greens when they are cooked. A simple vegetable soup may also be made with Dandelions.

You can use the whole plant, including its roots and flowers for consumption, read here for more information.

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