Friday, 17 May 2013

Roots, Shoots and leaves: Dandelion Leaves and Shoots Salad, and More Like Trees.

I listened to an interview with  Maude Ferris-Luse who lived to be 115 years old. She claimed the secret to her long life was a diet of boiled dandelion greens and fried fish. It encouraged me to do a spot of urban dandelion foraging...and I only had to take a few steps outside the kitchen door to find a healthy batch. I didn't make any fried fish, but I made a dandelion salad using the smallest baby leaves and shoots, oh and the flowers too. If I'd had time I would have dug up the roots as well and roasted them.  I'm told that they taste even better than roasted parsnips. Hard to believe...I didn't anything could beat roast parsnips. I must try, and let you know. 

Dandelion leaves and shoots salad

Ingredients per person:
  • A couple of handfuls of dandelion shoots and flowers.
  • A handful of other assorted shoots or leaves. It's nice to use something a little sweet like lambs lettuce as the dandelion leaves can be a tad bitter.
  • One egg 
  • 1oz/ 25g of feta cheese
  • Fine sea salt.
Dressing ingredients:
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of pomegranate vinegar. Red wine or raspberry or any other you have on hand will do.
  • 1 tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 a  teaspoon of mustard powder
  1. Soft boil the egg then cool in cold water, peel and quarter length-wise.
  2. Whilst they are cooking, sort through the dandelion leaves and flowers, remove the green stem close to the flower as this is quite bitter. Place them in a bowl of cold water with a big spoonful of sea salt and leave to soak for about half an hour. Rinse and drain.
  3. Wash and drain any other salad leaves.
  4. Assemble the salad, mixing the leaves together and top with quarters of egg. Break the cheese into chunks and place on top.
  5. Combine all the dressing ingredients together. Taste and then adjust to your palette. 
  6. Dress the salad and eat. 
I loved this simple salad with it's combination of bitter and sweet salad leaves, mild creamy egg and tangy salty cheese. With the citrusy, sweet dressing it didn't need anything else to make it complete. Enjoyed whilst listening to more Roots, shoots and leaves...newly released nephews' album by their band More Like Trees, that I had a sneaky preview copy of... might like to check it out too....

...must ask them about the clever album cover...probably something on the lines of the pen being mightier than the mightier than a machine gun? 


  1. I might have to try it! I have plenty of dandelions in the yard, more than I'll ever need.

  2. Me too Karen...I've got an abundant supply...