I looked around my yard yesterday, and realized with a gasp that all of the dandelions that were proliferating on my path had gone, poof! But but but but…I didn’t even get a chance to make Dandelion Mead this year! I hope they will come back, I expect dandelions to hang around longer than one month! *grumble grumble*
I guess I’ll have to just bide my time until the honeysuckle flowers pop open and give me fodder for mead and cordials. At least I got enough flowers to make a batch of dandelion fritters!
If you want to surprise people with yummy food from your yard (note: I said yummy, NOT healthy), then fry up some garden pests and see how quickly they get eaten!
- The first step is the most fun…wander around outside with a bag or basket, and pull off the heads of the most open, bright, and happy dandelion flowers that you can find! It is best to do this in the early afternoon before the hottest part of the day, but after the dew has dried. Please be considerate of the pollinators and take only one of every three flowers.
- Bring your flowery disks inside, dump them in a colander, and rinse them gently to dissuade any ants from continuing their habitation of your petaled feast-in-the-making. Don’t go too crazy washing them or you’ll wash all of the pollen away, and then your fingers won’t be yellow! I love having yellow dandelion fingers.
- Shake your flowers in the strainer to get off the excess water and set it in the sink to let the angry, wet ants get away.
- Start your frying pan and oil heating, you want to let it get to medium/med-high. Some folks use olive oil, any grease will work – coconut oil, bacon grease, use whatever you like! Pour as much oil into your pan as it would take to cover a lovely little flower head covered in batter.
- In a bowl, whisk together one egg, one cup of milk, and a cup of flour. If you want it sweeter, try adding a dribble of honey, maple syrup, molasses, or any other thing your heart desires. A dash of cinnamon and a smaller dash of ginger adds a great rounded flavor, in my opinion. If you are looking for a little more savory flavor, add hot pepper flakes, garlic, salt, black pepper, or any other spices to the batter.
- Get a plate covered with newspaper or paper towels ready to help drain the hot, greasy, crispy flowers!
- Grab a dandelion flower from the strainer, shake off the excess water, trim the stem off as low as you can without losing a place to hold it, and dip it into the batter. Swish the flower around in the batter to make sure it gets completely covered.
- Drop the dripping flower into the hot oil and repeat. Add just a couple at a time until you have an idea of how long it takes for the batter to brown (Hint: NOT LONG). If I have to tell you to use tongs to carefully flip the flowers, you deserve to cook your fingertips. Just saying.
- Remove the flowers to your draining plate when they are golden brown. While they are still hot, you have the option of sprinkling them with powdered sugar (alá Funnel Cakes), cinnamon & sugar, or drizzle with honey. Go savory and have them with mustard, horseradish, or any other rich-flavored chutney or sauce.
Now, just give that a try, and you’ll be like me – wondering where all those pesky dandelions have gone, and wondering what else growing in your yard might taste as good fried golden-brown! Eat up! Enjoy!