The inspiration for this month’s recipes come from the tastes of late winter when the first green things are poking out from cold and frost-covered ground.
Warm Dandelion Salad
The youngest greens are the best tasting ones and you may have to forage for 20-30 minutes to gather enough greens to make this recipe for 4 people. Make sure you are harvesting these greens from an area you know has not been sprayed wth herbicides. Four cups of greens will cook down to about one serving for this recipe.
- A mess of fresh-picked and washed dandelion greens
- Pasture-raised bacon, one pound
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vinegar to taste
- Gather the dandelion greens and wash. It’s okay if they are still wet when they hit the skillet.
- Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and crumble into pieces. Leave the fat in the skillet, you’ll need about 2TBSP, ad some butter if your bacon was lean.
- Add the dandelion greens to the skillet and mix well to coat them with the bacon fat. Cook for about 2 minutes and remove from the heat. They should still retain some bright green color.
- Transfer to a warm bowl and sprinkle the bacon over top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a few splashes of vinegar. And since I love to use flavors as a thread to tie a meal together if you are serving this salad with the maple mushroom martini below, splash on a few tbsp of the aromatic bitters you use for the drink.
- Serve the salad warm.
It takes a lot of flowers to make these cookies, but remember to leave some dandelion flowers for the bees in late winter and early spring! To separate the yellow parts of the dandelion flower from the green part pinch the green/white pithy part at the base of the florets with one hand and pull the florets away with your fingers of the other hand. This part takes quite a while and is a good way for kids to help. Green parts in the cookies will make them taste bitter.
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 TBSP maple syrup
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour of your choice
- 1 cup oats
- 1/3-2/3 cups dandelion flowers- only yellow parts, no green
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.
- Melt the coconut oil and mix with the honey and maple syrup, then add eggs and vanilla.
- Add flour, oatmeal and coconut and stir well.
- Drop onto parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Maple Mushroom Martini
My talented friend Lexi Rohajn from Wingstem Farm and her family tapped several maple trees this winter. After boiling down to syrup she served this delicious drink. She made the mushroom-infused vodka by combining 1/4 cup dried mushrooms shiitakes and 1 cup vodka, then infusing for 3 days before straining. Lexi adapted this recipe from boozedandinfused.com via Michael Judd’s book Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist.
- 2 oz mushroom infused vodka
- 3/4 tsp maple syrup
- 2-4 tsp fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 dash aromatic bitters
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Enjoy!