You can do what with a dandelion? That’s right, dandelions are edible and have great health benefits. So before you decide to kill these weedy perennials, try out this recipe to pickle the dandelion buds into capers.
In my last submission, I wrote about my interest in creating art from painted rocks. These can also be found in the outdoors and often, your own backyard. Now I am going to tell more about another one of my passions, which is foraging.
Early spring you will start to see your yard covered in the very familiar yellow blossoms. Before the stems grow and flower, you will find the small bud at the base of the plant. They will be tightly closed and will look similar to little buttons.
When harvesting edible plants you always want to keep in mind where you are grabbing them. I knew my yard was safe since I do not spray pesticides, but I did have to keep away from Theo’s typical bathroom spots. Don’t harvest close to roads where car exhaust fumes might reach your edibles or where someone might be spraying.
2 Cups Dandelion Buds
⅓ Cup Water
⅔ Cup Vinegar
1 tsp Pickling Salt
2 Garlic Cloves
Start by preparing the buds by stripping off the sepals, cutting off the extra stem and washing the buds in cold water. I threw out any buds that were starting to open.
I placed the buds in a sterilized mason jar with a clove or two of garlic. In a saucepan combine your water, vinegar and salt. Bring to a light boil and stir until salt has dissolved. Pour your hot mixture into your mason jar filled with the dandelions and garlic, until the water mixture covers the dandelions. Cap and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes leaving ½ inch of headspace.
You will notice the dandelions will want to float to the top of the liquid. Every couple of days I carefully mixed the dandelions and liquid by turning the jar upside down, that way all of the dandelions are covered by the water mixture.
Jessica White is the founder of Wander Woman Kansas, an outdoor education program for women near the Kansas City area. She grew up with a family that spends time outdoors, which provided her a great deal of experiences. She has gone on every kind of hunting and fishing trip imaginable with her Dad. While he liked that part of the outdoors, her Mom, on the other hand, taught her the love of camping, canoeing, caving, rappelling and all kinds of outdoor sports. Jessica still enjoys trips with them, but she started Wander Woman to encourage other women to find themselves in the outdoors. View all posts by Jessica White