CategoryLeafy greens

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Dandelions are plants widely considered weeds, but which are fully edible.[1]



Dandelions have long green leaves with "toothed" edges[2][3][4]—the tip of the leaf may be broad and rounded or small and pointed. They produce bright yellow, slightly fuzzy flowers. The flavor of the leaves is akin to that of chicory, with a slight bitterness.[4][3] This bitterness is more pronounced in older leaves, especially after the plant has flowered.[3]

Selection and storage


Dandelion leaves are best harvested before the flowers appear, and the youngest plants are best, being the least bitter.[1][3] When purchasing wild dandelions, look for smaller, more tender leaves.[1] When foraging, look for patches that are not right by the road or other pollution sources. If you come across cultivated dandelions grown away from light, even the larger leaves will be less bitter.[1] Dandelion can also be harvested again in late fall, as a frost destroys their protective bitterness. Find some flowers in your yard or field.



The leaves should be rinsed well to remove any dirt and debris. Young, tender leaves may be eaten raw at this point. Older, more bitter leaves should be boiled in a couple changes of water for a few minutes each to leach out excess bitterness. When done, they should have the consistency of cooked spinach.

The greens of the dandelion plant are used either raw in salads or cooked like other greens, such as spinach.[1][2][3][4] The roots may also be slowly roasted and infused in hot water to make a beverage.[3][4]



Dandelion greens can be replaced by other bitter leafy greens, both in raw and cooked applications.


Category Dandelion recipes not found


  1. a b c d e Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  2. a b Labensky, Sarah R.; Hause, Alan M.; Martel, Priscilla (2018-01-18). On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-13-444190-0.
  3. a b c d e f Lyle, Katie Letcher (2016-09-15). The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants, Mushrooms, Fruits, and Nuts: Finding, Identifying, and Cooking. Falcon Guides. ISBN 978-1-4930-1864-2.
  4. a b c d Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (2014-09-26). Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-09183-9.