Ever since I saw the first yellow, sun-like flower of the season, I was sure I am going to cook with it.
This plant, a bothersome weed for those who want a luscious and perfect like a golf course lawn, is a tasty edible flower, a nutrient-dense green believed to be some of the oldest plants on the planet. Throughout history, the dandelion has been known as super food, herbal medicine and delicious, sunshine-filled drink. Remember Ray Bradbury's novel "Dandelion Wine"? With his lyrical writing style, the author portrays the dandelion as a glorious flower, harvested every year by the boy's grandfather for dandelion wine that would keep all of the summer joys into a single bottle for when the winter season comes.

"The boys bent, smiling. They picked the golden flowers. The flowers that flooded the world, dripped off lawns onto brick streets, tapped softly at crystal cellar windows and  and agitated themselves so that on all sides lay dazzle and glitter of molten sun.

"Every year", said Grandfather. "They run amuck; I let them. Pride of lion in the yard. Stare, and they burn a hole in your retina. A common flower, a weed that no one sees, yes. But for us, noble thing, the dandelion.
So, plucked carefully in sacks, the dandelions were carried below. the cellar dark glowed with their arrival, the wide press stood open, cold. A rush of flowers warmed it.
The press, replaced, its screw rotated, twirled by Grandfather, squeezed gently on the crop.
The golden tide; the essence of this fine, fair ran, the gushed from the spout below to cropped, skimmed to ferment, and bottled in clean ketchup shakers, then ranked in sparkling rows in cellar gloom.
Dandelion wine.
The words were summer on the tongue. The wine was summer, sought and stopped..."

Every part of the dandelion is edible both raw and cooked, from the roots to the blossoms. The leaves can be use in salads, also steamed or added to a stir-fry or soup. The roots can be dried and roasted and are commonly used as a coffee substitute or a cleansing and detoxifying tea. The yellow flowers are sweet with honey-like taste and can be eaten raw, put in bread and cakes and, of course, used to make dandelion wine. Herbalists and nutrition experts report the dandelion is highly nutritious and can treat a variety of ailments. A rich source of vitamin A, C, fibre, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, trace minerals, antioxidants, and protein, the plant helps to treat anemia, heart problems, acne, liver and kidney disease and mainly digestive complaints. 
What impresses me the most is the fact that the dandelion flower opens its arms each morning, collects the sunlight of the entire day, and folds its arms again at the day's end. Eating a dandelion is like nibbling on a little slice of sun, isn't it...

Dandelion Muffins 

The recipe is based on one from the inspiring book by Miche Bacher "Cooking with Flowers", which I presented here.  


2 cups unbleached flour (or 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour)

2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dandelion petals, washed
1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/3 cup almonds, chopped
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups milk
5 tbsp honey
 1 egg


Preheat oven to 375 F. Line standard muffin tin with paper liner or coat pan with non-stick spray.

Mix together the dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, salt, dandelion petals, apricots, and almonds. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, honey and oil. Beat in the egg. 
Add liquid ingredients to dry and mix by hand to combine (hands prevents overmixing). Pour the wet batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out clean.  

* The dandelion is generally considered safe in food; however some people may have allergic reactions to it. Gather dandelion flowers from areas free of chemical treatments or fertilizer. Pick in a sunny part of the day, so the flowers are fully open and prepare right away. Once picked, they do not last long.  

Happy June to all of you! 

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