Fresh and Wild Dandelion Salad

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Hayley Bisofsky Pope
Cornwall dweller, lifestyle blogger and founder of The Little Naturalists Club
14 April 2023

Most people know what dandelions look like and most also know that they’re edible. But what people don’t really know, is how to get the most out of these deliciously bitter leaves in the kitchen.

They say "what grows together goes together", and although that's not always true, it certainly is in the case of dandelions and strawberries! Our recipe perfectly combines the two to bring you a beautiful salad that is a great accompaniment to any spring barbecue.

What you'll need:

A knob of butter

1 x red onion (sliced)

A handful of dandelion leaves

6 x strawberries (sliced in half)

1\2 a ciabatta or French baguette

4 x garlic cloves

3 x tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1/2 a teaspoon of Dijon mustard

A few healthy glugs of olive oil

A few sprigs of rosemary

Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Cut your ciabatta or French baguette into inch-thick slices and then slice again until you have large chunky squares. Then smash the garlic cloves lightly with the back of a rolling pin and gently bruise a few sprigs of rosemary by rolling them between your hands. Throw the bread chunks on a sheet pan with a good few glugs of olive oil, the garlic, rosemary and salt and pepper. Use your hands to make sure everything is mixed well and the bread has a good coating of olive oil and the other ingredients. Pop the pan on a low heat to allow that garlic to caramelise and wait until the croutons achieve your desired level of crispness.
  2. Submerge your leaves in a bowl of cold water and agitate them a bit to shake free any dirt, and then discard the water. Do this a few times over to ensure that your wild dandelion leaves are clean. Once you’re happy, remove them from the bowl leaf by leaf to ensure that you haven’t accidentally picked up any other leaves too. Place them in a salad spinner, on tissue paper or a tea towel to dry.
  3. Slice your onions and slowly brown them in a pan with butter and some salt.
  4. Cut the green tops off your strawberries and half them, placing them into a bowl. Pour over a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and allow them to macerate whilst the onions are browning.
  5. Drain the balsamic off the strawberries and into a pan, then add an extra 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and the Dijon mustard. Whisk this over a low heat until the Dijon is fully combined with no lumps, and the dressing is slightly warm.
  6. Assemble your salad by placing the clean, dry dandelion leaves into a bowl with the browned sweet red onions, fresh strawberries, your croutons and the dressing (make sure to set some strawberries, croutons and onions aside for serving). Toss the salad well to combine all the flavours, and cover the dandelion leaves with the sweet, earthy flavours from the dressing and the onions.
  7. Add the reserved strawberries, croutons and onions to the top of the salad and serve. Delicious!