dandelion fritters – give these a try!

29 Apr

Inspired by out adventures with Fergus last week on our last trip to the allotment The Man and I were on the look out for anything edible that we had previously considered a weed! It’s been a real eye opener, and I feel I can justify my lazy attitude now, I’m just growing alternative crops, not encouraging weeds! We grow dandelions almost as well as we grow nettles, and at least they have the advantage of being pretty! Shallow? Me?

Pretty yes, and tasty too! Dandelion leaves are edible, we tasted them when we were out foraging,  they were too bitter for me, but I’d encourage you to try them and see. The flowers and stems are also edible. We ate the flower petals scattered over a salad, but Fergus also suggested a savoury tempura treatment and many web sites suggest adding honey or maple syrup which is where this idea came from.

First pick your flowers; legally you need permission from the land owner before you pick anything, as ours came from our allotment they are fair game. Also you need to be careful not to pick too close to roads, anywhere that has been sprayed with chemicals or peed on by dogs etc! Boring maybe, but I felt I should say it.  When picking, leave enough of the stem to act as a handle when cooking and eating, think of them as a floral lolly pop.

For the batter I used a drop scone batter; you will have some left over, but you can make pancakes the next day which is no bad thing.

Ingredients

As many dandelion flowers as you wish.

125 g self-raising flour, 2 tsp caster sugar, 1 egg beaten, 1 tbsp melted butter, 150 ml milk, 4 tbsp sunflower oil. Other batters will also work just as well.

Runny honey, maple syrup, golden syrup *sauce of your choice.

Dunk the blooms in the batter and shallow fry in hot oil until browned and crisp. Serve together, the stems will act as a handle. I think they look incredibly pretty too!

Dip in chosen sauce or syrup and enjoy!

You should experience a range of tastes and textures, sweet syrup, crispy batter, soft petals and then a slight bitter finish. The Man and I ate them up with relish and they are certainly and accessible and tasty way to begin experimenting with foraged food. Also, like the nettle pesto, I find a certain satisfaction in finding a use for something I’d otherwise consider a nuisance.

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One Response to “dandelion fritters – give these a try!”

  1. Maria May 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    My grandmother used to send us out into the yard to pick dandelion leaves and she would make salads with them. I was too young at the time to remember if I liked them. She is almost 99 years old now and wait until I tell her that you can fry up the dandelion flower. She is going to love this!!!

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