Happy Earth Day!
To celebrate, I’m going to continue my “backyard foraging” kick, with a recipe for the under-appreciated dandelion. Eaten plain, dandelions are sustainable, “easy” to grow, and very very good for you. You can eat the root, the greens, or in this case- the flower. They are certainly more nutritious when eaten raw… but when they are eaten battered and fried, they are simply delicious.
I am not sure how to describe the taste, other than possibly comparing these particular fritters to vegetable pakora, with a cornmeal twist.
If you haven’t yet delighted in eating what your neighbors probably loathe- now is the time. While you’re at it, go ahead and don a dandelion crown. People will know you mean business.
These things are so fun to harvest, batter and fry, you’ll be foraging in your (or someone else’s) front yard every time you get a hankering for a fried treat. See ya later tater tots.
makes about 30 fritters
- 30 dandelion flower heads
- 1 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
- 1 flaxegg *
- some oil for frying
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
First -make sure you harvest your dandelions from a patch of land free from all those yicky pesticides that people sometimes have sprayed on their lawns. You do NOT want to eat that stuff, this I am sure. After you have chosen a safe spot… just get on the ground and start plucking off the little yellow flowers from the dandelions.
Do this on a sunny day, so that the flower heads are wide open. For the amount of batter given, you will need about 30.
Once you have picked all the flowers, bring them inside and get ready to fry em up. You don’t want to wait too long after your harvest to fry these guys, or the flowers will close up on you. Still tasty, just not as beautiful.
Rinse off the flowers and pat dry. I skipped this step because I am a rebel.
* Next prepare your flaxegg by microwaving one tablespoon of flaxseed meal with 2 tbsps of water for 18 seconds. Stir and repeat.
Combine your almond milk, salt, flaxegg and cornmeal to make a thick batter. Set aside.
Prepare your cooking oil by placing enough oil in pan to make a depth of bout 1/4 inch. Over medium high heat, let your oil get hot. If you aren’t sure if it’s hot enough… just drop a dab of water in the pan, it will sizzle up when it’s ready to go.
Grab the little green stem on the flower and dip the flower head into the batter, turning to coat thoroughly. I had to sort of scoop the batter up onto the flower head rather than “dip” them to make it stick well.
Place the flowers into hot oil- flower side down- and fry until you can easily flip them with a spatula. Don’t force these things into turning over, when they are ready, they will be very easy to get a spatula underneath them. When they are not ready, they will fall apart.
Flip over and cook until the other side is nice and golden. Remove from the oil with a spatula and place on a surface covered with a paper towel to absorb the extra oil. Keep frying them up until you are either out of batter or dandelions.
Enjoy with a nice dipping sauce, or eat plain.
Here is my favorite sauce to use:
- 1/4 cup Vegenaise
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- dash of black pepper
Enjoy! And Happy Earth Day! :)