Wednesday, 12 April 2017

From Weed to Dinner Plate: Eating Dandelion Leaves

The weather was fantastic over the weekend and like many people with gardens or allotment plots, I was out working in mine.  Between the two of us, we got loads done including a lot of weeding including dandelions.

The potatoes have gone in.  I have sowed many seeds.  The seeds I sowed two weeks ago have germinated, tomatoes, courgettes, chard, broad beans and some have not.  I will up-date my Sowing The Seeds page to let you know what I am attempting to grow this year, but today, I am sharing my dinner plate of vegan meatballs on a bed of wilted dandelion leaves.
 I was inspired by a recipe for Fried Dandelion Greens with Lemon and Garlic Potatoes I saw in Street Vegan by Adam Sobel.  My food presentation is not good, a little corny I think but the finished dish was delicious.  The meatballs were zinging and the spicy herby coating infuse the crispy brown exterior of the veggie meatballs.  The sauteed dandelion greens were not at all bitter, but the flavour was completely transformed.
Other Wild Week Recipes on Allotment2Kitchen
Wild Weed 'Eccles' Cake
Wild Weed Tortilla
Stinging Nettle Hummus
Stinging Nettle Gnocchi
Stinging Nettle Risotto

Foraging Eyes

500g parboiled new potatoes, sliced in half
For the Meatballs
175g vegetarian Sausage mix
In a large bowl, stir in the Sausage mix.
Then carefully pour in 300ml cold water, stir well to combine and then let it sit for 30 minutes to thicken.  
Set aside, while you get on with making the  base  
Assemble the Meatballs
The sausage mix should be thick now, with you hands scoop out around a large tablespoon and roll into small round balls, keep doing this until you have used up all the mock sausage meat. I managed to make around 16 with my hands, but you may make more or less, just bare in mind that this will be divided between 3 - 4 people. When done, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan and pan fry them, ensuring all sides are golden and done.  Drain and set aside.
I know my food presentation sucks!
Thyme Oregano Miso Spice Coating
Preheat oven to gas mark 4/180oc
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon brown miso paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a bowl, stir all the above ingredients until well combined then stir in the parboiled new potatoes and cooked meatballs and coat well.
Transfer to a baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes.

While the potatoes and meatballs are in the oven, sauteed the dandelion leaves
Wilted Dandelion Leaves with Jalapenos
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons jalapeno peppers from a jar, minced
Bunch of fresh dandelion leaves, washed well
Salt to taste
In a pan, heat the oil, then stir in the dandelion leaves, when they begin to wilt, stir in the rest of the ingredients and wait until the leaves wilt, saute for  a few minutes, before transferring between four plates and serving with meatballs and potatoes. 
Adapted from Street Vegan by Adam Sobel.  
Here is a review of the cookbook by fellow food blogger Veganopoulous


  1. I had heard one could eat those greens but have never done it. Do you make tea from the greens as well?

    1. Hi e.
      I haven't attempted making tea with it, to be honest I don't think I will, but I will def. eat more of the leafy greens.

  2. Well you might be more picky than me but I was very impressed with your food styling - sounds like a great dish

    1. Perhaps I am, but thank you so much. The flavours were really amazing, of course you can make your own meatballs from scratch, but sometimes you know, its just convenient to use packet stuff (I don't do it that often by the way)

  3. What a beautiful meal, and all the better for featuring what to many are weeds to be thrown away. I love hearing your garden efforts - you put me to shame!

    1. Thank you Kari. Your kind. Oh don't be that impressed with me, i have bursts of energy and I am in the garden, then I am not. I admire you - being kept busy with a little one and you still find time to experiment in the kitchen

  4. "I know my food presentation sucks!" I was actually thinking how prettyily you arranged it on the plate. Looks restaurant worthy to me!
    Wow! I really admire your gardening work. It's not something I was every good at, or to be honest, particularly enjoyed, so I always love hearing about others who do. Think of all of the wonderful rewards you will get =)
    I also appreciate the recipe using dandelion greens as my husband quite likes them and I'm never sure what to do with them.

  5. Thank you so much Kimmy. I just think it looks corny. I have to get back into loving gardening, there was once a time I loved it, but in the last few years its been a chore and much neglected, I am hoping to fall in love again. Made a lot more progress than years gone, so I am pleased. I hope to bring more dandelion recipes to you.

  6. This all looks fabulous and sounds so tasty! I always just use miso in soup - I will have to be more adventurous :-)
    Thanks for joining in with #OnePotato Two Potato.


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