Dandelion Salad

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Yes, yes, dandelions! If you have a home with a large yard, you will be blessed with these wonderful plants in abundance. It's a weed, and you should have plenty of them popping up in your yard. Most people who try to maintain a nice lawn will find these plants annoying. Feel free to "fight back" by turning them into dinner instead! Although, if you have a dog, I'd be on the safe side and toss them in your compost bin.

I would suggest picking them as early as you can, as older dandelions can be more bitter, and the younger plants are more tender. Also, the yellow flowers, once bloomed, are quite edible and really add a unique twist of color to the salad.

Any dressing will do, but I prefer to toss in a sweetened oil and vinegar based dressing to offset any bitterness, along with some chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.

I love to improvise, but here's a basic recipe to get you started:

Sweet & Simple Vinaigrette

1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
Combine all ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Best if prepared a few hours ahead of time to allow flavors to blend.

Dandelion Salad

Young, torn dandelion greens
Sweet & Simple Vinaigrette
1/4th of a white onion, thinly sliced
Chopped walnuts
Dried cranberries
Combine and enjoy!

-- Mark Havens 02:11, 10 April 2010 (CDT)