Fried Dandelions (Appalachian Style)
This is a recipe handed down by my mother and is a local favorite back in West Virginia, up in the Appalachian Mountains. This recipe consists of picking the largest dandelion flowers and leaving the entire stem behind, battering the flowers up and frying them in butter. Has a flavor similar to that of mushrooms. One word of caution...to avoid a bitter taste, make sure the dandelion flowers you're picking have not been sprayed by dogs or pesticides.
The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the breading ingredients. The actual amount of the breading consumed will vary. We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and the specific type of oil used.
Prepare the dandelion flowers ahead of time by submerging them in a bowl of room-temperature water with about 1 tablespoon of salt added to the water. This rids the flowers of any insects that could be in the blossoms. Soak for about 10 minutes. Rinse the flowers in fresh water. Using a salad spinner works nicely to rinse and dry the dandelion flowers.
There is a variety of the dandelion that has a thin solid stalk and this is NOT the flower to use. Make sure the dandelions you pick have the tubular stalk.
As an option, canola or vegetable oil can be used to fry the dandelions in but the flavor will change accordingly. Try using some other spices, like garlic powder, in seasoning to taste.