Part cookbook, part herbal, and part gardening guide, these recent posts offer a collection of food-related notes on growing, harvesting, and prep methods. They’ve evolved over thirty-three years of combining my commitment to eat as much wild and home-grown food as possible with a life full of unrelated passions and pursuits. I hope something among them will enrich or add ease to your own cooking, eating, and maybe gardening life.
Whether picking from a garden bed, wild field, or (chemically untreated) lawn, harvesting large quantities of dandelion leaves is a lovely reason to sit outside in the sun for a little while. Bring a basket and one or more freezer bags or containers. Without any real effort you will accumulate plenty of dandelions for the rainy and winter days. If ticks are a concern, wear tall rubber boots, sit on stool and keep an eye on your hands, the nasty creatures are easily seen and removed.
Pick individual leaves; the newer growth will be more tender. Cutting bunches with scissors will work but can incorporate grass blades, flower stems, and other unwanted inedibles. Cram the bag full, label and freeze. No need to pre-chop, they crumble easily straight out of the freezer.
STEAMED prep time: varies from 10-60 min., all passive
Steamed Dandelion greens will keep nicely in the fridge for a few days, so it makes sense to cook plenty at once to save time. They’re a surprisingly filling green, packed with deep nutrition and good cold or reheated.
Put them in 1/2 to 1 inch of water in a tightly lidded pan or pot. Cooking time will vary anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes depending on the maturity of the greens and whether they are fresh or frozen. Freezing toughens them. Cook on medium low heat until tender. Much of the water will evaporate so be careful not to let the pot go completely dry if they need long cooking.
Three serving ideas:
- Lightly dressed with olive oil and either salt or a squeeze of lemon
- Heavily dressed with tartour sauce or hummus
- Warm, on sturdy, crusty bread that’s been drizzled with olive oil
Next week, something truly unusual and delightful involving a huge quantity of dandelion leaves, and little else. You might want to start harvesting now 😉
Laurie Goodhart and her husband co-founded and operated two certified organic artisanal goat fromageries, Nettle Meadow in Warrensburg, NY from 1990 to 2005 and Domaine De Courval in Waterville, Quebec from 2006 to 2017. She created and trademarked the multiple award-winning cheese, Kunik. For more about her how her life experience brought her to develop time-saving ways to eat as much nutrient-dense food from her local environment as possible, see this previous post
Goodhart lives in upstate NY and continues her work as a professional artist and avid home gardener. Since 2007 she has devoted most of her studio time to an extensive body of work collected under the concept, Remnants And Residents Of A Lost Sanctuary Of Aphrodite.
Laurie can be reached through her website, lauriegoodhart.net