Wild Edibles 101: Dandelion Root

Dandelion Root

The Dandelion Plant is an incredible and versatile wild edible.  From flower to root, the entire plant is edible.  The focus of this post, however, is the root. 

I don’t think I need to go into too much detail about how to identify this plant. Most everyone knows what the dandelion looks like. It has very distinct leaves with no poisonous look-a-likes to my knowledge. In the spring it commonly has a bright yellow flower. This flower seeds to a fluffy head of seeds as the plant matures.

The Dandelion plant has a long carrot-like taproot, so dig deep or you will break it off. Here is a picture of a few plants I collected to prepare my dandelion root vegetable.

After you’ve dug enough roots, the next step is to wash off the dirt and trim them up.

Then, I typically take a knife blade and lightly scrape off the outside peel.

After the root is peeled I slice it up just like you would a carrot.

Dandelion is best prepared like boiled carrots. Just boil the sliced roots for 5-8 minutes. They soften up and make an excellent vegetable side dish. I typically just add a little salt, pepper and a cut of butter.

The larger & more mature roots have a slightly bitter (but surprisingly pleasant) taste. When you harvest dandelion roots, be sure to keep the leaves. These make an excellent steamed green – prepare them like spinach.

If preparing the root in the field or over an open fire you can also boil it as long as you have a container.  Otherwise, the roots can be roasted on a stick until tender or placed directly on a bed of hot coals or rocks.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

source : Creek Stewart

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