Each part of the dandelion plant is edible, from roots to flower. Dandelion greens have a distinct bitter taste, available year-round to be eaten raw, steamed, boiled, sautéed, braised or even pureed. Dandelion pesto, anyone?
To balance the bitter taste, try pairing the greens with complimentary flavors like sweet fruits, rich cheeses or toasted nuts. Toss dandelion greens into a salad with fresh goat cheese and apples, bake them into a creamy casserole, or sauté and layer them into a hearty lasagna.
When shopping, choose unblemished dark green leaves. Wash well in plain water to remove dirt, and refrigerate the leaves in a plastic bag or container with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. If kept dry, dandelion greens stay fresh for up to five days.
To tame the bitter taste, blanche dandelion greens in boiling water until wilted.
Dandelion greens provide more than 500 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K in a one-cup serving, similar to kale and collard greens. Dandelion greens are also rich in iron, low in calories, and loaded with antioxidants like beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C.