I love dandelions.

Ever resilient, they are found in the smallest of sidewalk cracks and flood fallow fields with reminders that it doesn’t take special conditions to live and thrive in for these hardy plants.  They have become the bane of those seeking perfectly manicured lawns, and most have forgotten the medicine they have to offer in spring.

 

Dandelions have been well-known for centuries to help ease the transition from winter to spring.  They are nature’s very own spring cleaners for our insides: having an effect on the Liver’s movement, and offering a chance for the body to eliminate what is no longer needed. This recipe uses the flowers, which are high in vitamin A – aiding our sights for the season ahead.

To capture some of this glorious sunshine, I decided to turn these lovely flowers into something between a fritter and a griddlecake.

In times past, I would dip whole flowers into batter then fry them into fritters, but this year I felt the need for something a bit different, and less oily.

As it is now June, dandelion season is likely long past where you are.  If you chance upon some, give this recipe a try or save for next year!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 ramp tops (please leave the bulb in the ground) – if you cannot get ramps, use chives instead, if you don’t have chives, use a little caramelized onion
  • 5 cups of dandelion flowers
  • 3/4 cup corn flour
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour (or regular wheat flour)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2TB olive oil
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1TB sugar (optional, but is a nice touch with the corn flour)
  • a couple grinds of black pepper
  • 1-3 cups seltzer to keep your cakes fluffy and light
  • oil for your griddle/skillet

Here’s What To Do:

  1. Take the ramps leaves and slice in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/4″ strips, set aside
  2. Combine your eggs and oil with a whisk
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients (flours, salt, baking powder, pepper, and sugar)
  4. Prepare your dandelion flowers: cut the bottom of the dandelion off from where that fringed green sepals are and below to the stem (those sepals are really bitter!).  Discard the cut green portion, then break the flower head up into bits of petals.  Do this for all the dandelions, set aside the flowers with the ramp tops.
  5. Combine your eggs and oil mixture with the dry ingredients and add 1 cup of seltzer, stir gently.  If the batter is too thick, add another 1/2c of seltzer.
  6. Then add your dandelion flowers and ramps, and gently fold in.
  7. If the batter is very thick, add another 1/2c seltzer.  Your batter should be a rather thick pancake consistency.
  8. Heat your skillet or griddle on medium-medium high heat.
  9. Add 1TB oil to the pan, once the oil shimmers you are ready to fritter!

    I don’t make perfect food, or even beautiful food, but I do make delicious food!

  10. Spoon a 3-3.5″ dollop of batter into your pan and spread so it is round.  I used a 10″ skillet and got 4 fritters to fit into this pan.
  11. Let fry until the edges are cooked (dry looking) and the underside is a light golden brown.
  12. Flip your fritters once the underside is golden brown, then cook again until golden brown.
  13. Remove from the pan and set on a paper towel lined pan, and place in a 300F oven to keep warm.
  14. Add more oil if needed to your pan, and fry more of those tasty delights!
  15. Top with a slice of smoked salmon and dill, squeeze some lemon atop for some extra zing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Finished Product: fritters topped with smoked salmon and dill

 

The finished “ugly delicious” dish! (Ugly delicious is a descriptor from chef David Chang)