Saturday, March 28, 2009

Taraxacum officinale, Dandelion

Shockheaded dandelion,
That drank the fire of the sun:

Dandelion , Dent de lion, Dienta de leon
At this time of year the air becomes filled with floating seeds from the Dandelion looking for a new home . They usually end up on a lawn and become a cursed weed ,sending down a big tap-root and becoming firmly entrenched ,. However given a little care, the dandelion is a good plant to have around in the vegetable garden as the leaves are full of vitamins and minerals and it is quite a tonic herb. Dandelion is derived from the French 'dent de lion' because the leaf is shaped like the teeth of a lion. This grooving of the leaves is nature's ingenious way of supplying the plant with water,by conducting it straight to the root through the rosette of leaves. The leaves are at their best in spring when they can be added to salads or boiled with other greens and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice as in the Balkan ,Horta vrasta (Xopta in Greek) or baked into pies using filo pastry. The roots can also be roasted and make an acceptable coffee substitute. The leaves and flowers have also been used in the making of country wines. Drinking Dandelion wine may be quite a liver tonic.

1 comment:

  1. i guess they are pretty common wild flowers in prtugal, but i never heard of eating them, or even better, making coffee of the roots! it must be quite an experience ;P maybe someday i'll give it a try...