Late April and early May is the reign of the dandelion, carpeting fields and yards in its golden yellow flowers in a way that announces that Spring is officially here. I can’t help but marvel at the beauty of a pasture carpeted heavily in yellow – so breathtaking! If you can come to appreciate the beauty and gifts of one of the most common and most loathed plants of all time, then you have found the secret to daily contentment and delight…
When I look out and see the dandelions popping up in the yard, I know its time for one of my favorite spring treats! All the better because it comes but once a year. I go out with a large basket and top all of the dandelion flowers I can find, with the added satisfaction that I am somewhat discouraging their taking over my garden in a very useful and practical way. The flowers have a very mild bitter flavor, and combine well with leeks, parsley, chives, cheddar and other delicious things appearing in the garden this time of year. I think they taste especially wonderful served with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Try them for yourself and see what you think!
Just a note: Once you’ve picked your flowers, you might want to let them sit in the sun for a bit so any resident bugs have a chance to remove themselves. Keeping them in the sun well help to discourage them from closing up, but you don’t want them to sit much longer than 30 minutes or they will wilt and close up, hiding away that gorgeous yellow color.
Dandelion Flower Fritters
These are best served immediately, so get all your condiments ready to go ahead of time. I like to serve them with fresh lemon wedges and Greek yogurt combined with lemon juice and a little fresh parsley for dipping – but you could also try a garlic aioli, ketchup or some other dip of your fancy! These really turn out best when you let your oil get nice and hot, so be patient and let your pan heat up a bit before you start cooking.
- 1 free range egg
- 1/3 cup all purpose flower
- 1/4 cup cornstarch (organic)
- salt and pepper
- sunflower oil or butter for cooking
- 1.5 -2 cups dandelion flowers
- handful of chopped wild leeks, greens included
- handful of chopped fresh parsley
- chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar
1. Combine all the ingredients for the batter, adding a generous amount of salt and pepper. Whisk until the batter is smooth and creamy.
2. Add the batter to the filling ingredients so that the filling is nicely coated with batter. There shouldn’t be much extra batter in the bowl – if there is, add some extra filling – you need just enough batter to hold the filling together.
2. Line a large plate with a few sheets of paper towels to have ready next to the stove.
3. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of fat (sunflower oil, ghee, butter, coconut oil or lard) to a frying pan and turn the heat to medium. Test the oil by dripping a small drop of water in periodically. When the water sizzles, the oil is hot enough.
4. Pick up about 1 tbl portions of batter with a slotted spoon, letting any extra batter drain off. Drop the mixture into the pan and flatten with the back of a spoon, frying for 1-2 minutes per side, or until each side becomes a nice golden brown. Use a spatula to transfer the fritters to the plate once they are cooked. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more oil to the pan if needed.