How To Make Dandelion Greens Less Bitter
Dandelion greens are those pesky weeds that grow in your backyard. Most of the times, you want to get rid of them to have a beautifully mowed lawn, but surprisingly, they are edible too. They are not only safe to eat, but are packed with calcium and vitamin A as well. But what most people are worried about is how to make dandelion greens less bitter. Unfortunately, dandelion greens are nutty, earthy and quite bitter in taste. They are known for their sharp flavor, much similar to that of radicchio. We have already told you How to Take Bitterness out of Cucumber. Here at OneHowTo.com, we are going to give you some tips to make dandelion greens less bitter.
Picking the right dandelion greens
The best tip is to pick very young leaves preferably during the early spring season. This is the time when the flower stalks have not yet appeared. Such fresh dandelion greens are not bitter, but instead they are delicious and most nutritious. If you are buying dandelion greens from the market, look for the ones that have stiff leaves with fine, pointy teeth. Never buy any bunch that has slimy stems or yellow leaves. Make sure that any dandelion greens that you are buying or picking from the garden are not treated with harmful chemicals or pesticides. They not only add to the bitterness of the leaves, but also make them unsafe to consume.
Blanching the dandelion greens
One good trick to get rid of the bitterness of the dandelion leaves is to blanch them. Blanching involves cooking them in boiling salted water for a few minutes, may be from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Now drain the greens and transfer them to ice water. You may also rinse them in cold running water, or lay them on a clean kitchen towel to let air cool. Once the water has squeezed out, chop the greens and braise them lightly with strong flavors such as garlic, bacon or chilies. This will tame their bitterness and make them delicious. Make sure not to boil for too long, otherwise they will start disintegrating.
Diluting the dandelion greens
This is a process in which you mix the dandelions with a utensil that dilutes their bitterness. For this, you may mix it with a milder green like chickweed or miner’s lettuce. You may also put it in a dish having other ingredients as well, so that the ratio of dandelion greens is reduced in the overall dish. If you are making a salad with dandelions, the best trick is to chop the leaves into very small pieces and then sprinkle them all over the mixed salad. By doing this, the dandelions will lose their bitterness and the salad’s overall flavor will be enhanced.
Masking the dandelion greens
You may mask the bitterness of the dandelion greens with a fat. You may pour bacon grease, butter or edible oils over dandelions, so that they cover the taste bud receptors, and reduce sensitivity to their bitterness. In addition, fat will also enhance the flavor of the dandelion greens manifolds.
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