I went out the front door this afternoon and came back 20 minutes later with dinner: dandelion greens, two dandelion flowers, a handful of violets and a couple of four-leaf-clovers thrown in for good luck.
I made a salad of the greens, flowers and clovers. I added a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and plopped a poached farm-fresh egg on top. It was a Farm Dover version of a Salad Lyonnaise. The warm egg yolk slightly wilting the peppery greens, mellowing their bit of bitterness.
I was quite happy to think that I could feed us by foraging for our dinner. And it was nice to know that our dandelions are perfectly edible since we don't spray our lawn/fields for weeds. Instead, we change our perspective, and think of dandelions as pretty yellow flowers. Yes, pretty yellow flowers with tender green leaves that make for a lovely dinner salad.
Turns out, dandelions are nature's richest green vegetable source of beta carotene, from which Vitamin A is created. They are also particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamine and riboflavin, and they are a good source of protein to boot. And – one more thing – they are plenty of them, just outside our front door, free for the picking!