Friday, May 27, 2011

Fried Flowers

Photo by Melanie Jolicoeur

Before mowing down your dandelions flowers this weekend, you may want to gather a few for dinner (provided they haven't been sprayed with pesticide, of course). I recently cooked up a tasty batch of dandelion fritters using this simple recipe from Tammi Hartung's newest book, Homegrown Herbs.

There's something very summery about eating flowers for dinner, and mine were accompanied by a tray full of oven-roasted “Hadley grass” (the affectionate term for local Hadley, Massachusetts, asparagus) and a salad of bitter greens with feta cheese from Maplebrook Farm in nearby Vermont.

What's on your plate as we turn the corner from spring to summer this weekend?

Dandelion Fritters

Yield: 1 large fritter

1–2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
1 small onion, diced
1/2 red, green, or yellow bell pepper, chopped
Seasoning herbs (Tammi suggests celery seed, garlic, and onion powder)
1/2 cup flour
2 cups of dandelion flowers, stemmed and rinsed (leave them moist)

Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix your favorite seasoning herbs, to taste, into the flour.

Gently toss the dandelion flowers in the flour mixture until they are well coated. Add them to the skillet as flavoring, and sauté until the dandelions are golden brown. Serve plain, or dip the fritters in ranch dressing.


Sue Weaver said...

When I worked for the Minnesota Historical Society's North West Company Fur Post in costume and we cooked over an outdoor fire every day, fritters were a mainstay of our diet. Dandelion, milkweed, nettles. Now that was good eating!

Melanie Jolicoeur said...

Nettle fritters?! I'm going to try those next. Nettle will be ready to harvest in the next week or two..

Sue Weaver said...

Nettle fritters are delicious. Wilt nettles as you would any greens and proceed from there.

Nettle also makes a wonderful iced tea.

I miss nettles. Wouldn't you know that (according to the USDA), Arkansas is the only continental state in which nettles don't grow? :o(

Melanie Jolicoeur said...

I'm actually drinking nettles tea right now (with dandelion and licorice root)! As for Arkansas, I'm surprised by that — one would think nettles could grown anywhere!