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dandelion

 

Botanical name: Taraxacum officinale


Löwenzahn

 

Dandelion is a very common plant. It can be found all over Europe in meadows and at the roadside. Now and then it can also be seen growing between paving stones. Today we differentiate between wild-growing and cultivated dandelion.


Availability


Outdoor dandelion is most available in the spring, but it can be harvested in the summer and even into the fall. Greenhouse dandelion can be bought throughout the year.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


Wild dandelion grows up to 40 cm high. The leaves are arranged like a rosette around the leafless stem. They are long and serrated like teeth, which explains the French name of this yellow-blooming plant. Wild-growing dandelion has a very bitter, strong taste.

Cultivated dandelion comes to the market predominantly bleached. This is achieved by binding the plants together during dry weather. A second possibility is to harvest the roots in the fall and let them sprout in a dark room. The leaves of cultivated dandelion are not only more yellow, but also more tender. Compared with wild dandelion, cultivated dandelion develops larger and only mildly serrated leaves.


Ingredients


Dandelion is a vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals. It has a particularly large amount of provitamin A (beta-carotene). 100 g contain:

Dandelion,
fresh
Energie (kcal)
55
Wasser (g)
83
Eiweiß (g)
3
Fett (g)
< 1
Kohlenhydrate (g)
9
Ballaststoffe (g)
3
Vitamin C (mg)
30
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
1317
Carotin (mg)
7,9
Folsäure (µg)
40
Kalium (mg)
440
Natrium (mg)
76
Calcium (mg)
158
Magnesium (mg)
36
Eisen (mg)
3,1


If you pick dandelion yourself, choose suitable places. At the roadside or in the vicinity of industry the contamination with foreign substances can be quite high.


Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


If dandelions are dry and dark where they were cut they are not fresh. Dandelions cannot be kept for very long, as they wilt quickly. For this reason you should use them as soon as possible.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Dandelion leaves are a good addition to salads. With a spicy dressing the leaves taste good either alone or combined with other types of lettuce. Older, stronger leaves can be steamed like spinach or added to stews and soups.

There are many more uses for dandelion, however. The young leaves are excellent when brewed as a tea.

The dandelion flowers can also be used and made into wine, spirits, syrup or jelly. Dandelion buds can be preserved in vinegar and used as an alternative to capers. Earlier the dried root was pulverized and used as ersatz coffee or tea.


Miscellaneous


# Like the lily of the valley, the dandelion is called May flower in some areas. The lily of the valley is very poisonous, however, and not edible. Any recipe for May-flower salad therefore refers only to salad with dandelion.

# To this day, the dandelion is used as an officinal plant for many and varied health problems. In France the dandelion is nicknamed Pissenlit (bed-wetter), because it has a diuretic effect.

 

 

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