Friday, May 9, 2008

Dandelion Fritters

Wow! this has been a busy week. I guess spring is here and there is lots and lots to do. I spent a lot of time with dandelion this week and did some new things that I'll be sharing. Our lawn just erupted with dandelion flowers - it's so beautiful I just have a hard time understanding why people want to eradicate this plant.

I've made dandelion wine a few times and swore to never to do it again because it is a lot of work! But once those beautiful flowers showed up I just couldn't help myself. I am waiting for my wine yeast to actually make the wine and when it shows up I'll post about how I make dandelion wine.

We had a couple extra flowers left over so last night I made up some fritters! Definitely wild food junk food - but delicious all the same.

When I gather the flowers I try to get the biggest ones that are completely open. I put all the flowers in a basket that has some holes, or a paper bag. After collecting I leave this out in the sun for about an hour (the paper bag I put on its side) to let out all the creatures that were enjoying their dandelions before I came along and plucked it.

To make the fritters, we first started by taking the bracts off the dandelion flowers. In the picture you can see the one on the left has bracts and the one on the right the bracts have been removed. I was taught to remove the bracts because of their bitter taste.

I then made up the batter. I got my original recipe from Karen Sherwood and just tweaked it a little to fit the ingredients I had on hand.

1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flower
1/3 cup corn meal
1 t baking powder
cinnamon to taste
dash of salt
1 T of butter
2 T of honey
1/3 Cup milk
1 egg
Coconut oil

Mix the dry ingredients together and then melt the butter on low heat along with the honey. Let this cool and add the egg and milk. Mix well and then add to dry ingredients. You want to end up with a consistency like pancake batter.

I then heat up a good amount of coconut oil in the skillet. I like coconut oil because it is great for high heat and one of the most nutritious oils available. Whatever oil you use just make sure it has a high smoking temperature. (Olive oil is a very poor choice.)

Once the oil is hot enough I dip the flowers in the batter and place them in the skillet. I turn them once one side is golden brown.

Once they are done cooking I place them on a plate lined with a paper towel.You could also make these more savory by omitting the honey and adding herbs like thyme and rosemary.