Dandelion greens are a nutritional powerhouse. The leaves are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, carrying more iron and calcium than spinach The plant has been used since antiquity as a diuretic, a liver tonic, to treat skin conditions and a whole host of other health problems.
Dandelion greens can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, such as in soup or salad. They are probably closest in character to mustard greens. Usually the young leaves and unopened buds are eaten raw in salads, while older leaves are cooked. Raw leaves have a slightly bitter taste. They taste like chicory and endive, with an intense heartiness overlying a bitter tinge. They can also be used as a substitute for spinach, swiss chard and kale in almost any dish.
Tips for keeping your Dandelion happy
Harvest the outer leaves as you would harvest lettuce. Use the leaves in a salad. To harvest the whole plant, cut the dandelion greens with a sharp knife, garden shears or scissors. Avoid using dandelion leaves from a plant that has started to bolt, or flower. The leaves of a plant that has bolted can be bitter and unpleasant.< Back to the herb guide