End of April means it is dandelion time!


To most people when they see a dandelion coming up in their yard they want to get rid of it…to me it means that it is time for the Dandelion Festival. This year it is the 20th Annual Dandelion Cook-off, which means I get to judge a number of delicious dishes prepared with dandelions.

Leafy greens brighten this savory pie—the ideal comfort food for spring. Add a side of healthy vegetables, a salad or fruit and you have a light and satisfying lunch.—Marie Rizzio, Interlochen, Michigan

Leafy greens brighten this savory pie—the ideal comfort food for spring. Add a side of healthy vegetables, a salad or fruit and you have a light and satisfying lunch.—Marie Rizzio, Interlochen, Michigan

My annual trip to the Dandelion Festival is a full day, starting with clogging, conducting a short demonstration of recipes containing dandelions, then off to the judging of recipes. Last year there were over 15 recipes to judge, quite a task, but someone has to do it!
Dandelion greens are high in vitamin A, B complex, C and D. They also contain calcium, iron magnesium, zinc and potassium. Of course you would not want to use the dandelions in your own yard, so check at your local grocery store (they can order for you) or a health food store. Here is a subscriber exclusive recipe to get you started, Spring Greens Quiche.

Ingredients

  • Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches), see below
  • 6 center-cut bacon strips, chopped
  • 5 cups julienned dandelion greens or Swiss chard
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1/2 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash pepper

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/8-in. thick circle; transfer to a 9-in. pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 in. beyond rim of plate; flute edge. Line un-pricked pastry with a double thickness of foil. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice.
  • Bake 13 minutes. Remove foil and weights; bake 3 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon. Cook and stir greens, spinach and green onions in drippings until wilted and liquid is evaporated.
  • Brush prepared crust with egg white; layer with wilted greens, cheese and cooked bacon. In a large bowl, whisk remaining ingredients; pour over top.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Yield: 6 servings.PASTRY FOR SINGLE-CRUST PIE (9 INCHES): Combine 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp.salt; cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until crumbly. Gradually add 3-5 Tbsp. ice water, tossing with a fork until dough holds together when pressed. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour. Let pie weights cool before storing. Beans and rice may be reused for pie weights, but not for cooking.

Or check out the Dandelion Festival where you will find different vendors with foods like dandelion sausage, dandelion bread, dandelion gravy and dandelion ice cream and of course dandelion wine.
See you there!

3 thoughts on “End of April means it is dandelion time!

  1. I Love Dandelion! Grew up having Dandelion and Potatoes, in fact I made it last night for dinner. My friends say you eat Dandelion, Heck Yeah, and my dad always made wine from the flowers. Nothing went to waste in our house. Many of my favorite memories with my dad was picking Dandelion, I picked the flowers while he picked the greens. Where is the festival? I am going to try this, I am so looking for recipes in season.

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