Dandelions For Lunch

Author: Helga Sombrofsky

Dandelion Tuna Sandwich

Dandelions. They’re everywhere. For decades we’ve been told to spend money buying toxic chemicals to kill them. Ironically, they’re growing here because Europeans brought them for their gardens. Dandelions were considered important plants for their nutritional and medicinal properties. The flowers, the leaves and the roots are all edible and full of vitamins. Today’s internet has a plethora of recipes for using all parts of the dandelion.

Here is my first attempt at dandelion cuisine. I’ve added the dandelion petals to a tuna sandwich.

  • handful of dandelion blossoms – pluck the petals from the green sepals
  •  can of tuna – drained
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • one green onion – chopped

Mixed together and served on a couple slices of Sunflower Rye Bread from the Italian Centre Shop. Yes, it tastes good!  Dandelion petals add a fresh, lively  taste to what is usually a boring  sandwich. The yellow petals could also be a tasty and colourful addition to egg salad or potato salad.

Experimenting with dandelion blossoms requires being  attentive to the weather and the plant’s growth cycle.  If I tell myself  “I’ll do it next week”, the blossoms will likely have disappeared.    Already there are few dandelion blooms left. They’ve turned to seed and the dandelion season is over.

Next spring I’ll be ready with lots of recipes collected, waiting for that burst of yellow.   Dandelion cookies. Martha Stewart’s Dandelion Salad. Stir Fried Dandelion Greens. Endless possibilities are available to experiment with.

Dandelions are a great way to introduce the first  freshness of spring into our diets. These  green sprouts, coming up after the snow, are growing outside our homes whether we want them or not.  It’s only a matter of time before restaurants add dandelion to their locally grown, seasonal  fare.

When the dandelion fields bloom again, I’m hoping someone will teach me the centuries old tradition of making dandelion wine. While processing all those blossoms, we’ll be preserving the warmth and colour of spring to keep us comfortable during the frozen winter. What’s not to love about that?


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