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…*sigh*…at least I got enough flowers to make dandelion fritters!
If you want to surprise people with yummy food from your yard (note: I said yummy, NOT healthy), then fry you 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.
- 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 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, but I tend to use vegetable oil because it was what I had on hand (and is cheaper, alas!). 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 feeling a little more savory than sweet, you can add hot pepper, garlic, salt, black pepper, or any other spices to the batter.
- Get a plate covered in newspaper or paper towels ready for the hot, greasy, crispy flowers!
- Grab yourself a lovely 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 a flower’s 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 sayin.
- When they are golden brown and lovely, remove them to your draining station. While they are still hot, you have the option of sprinkling them with powdered sugar (alá Funnel Cakes) or cinnamon-sugar or drizzle with honey or mustard or horseradish sauce or, or, or….*sigh*….so many amazing options.
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!