Saturday, 25 April 2009

Dandelions!

Polish: mniszek
Slovakian: púpava
Upper Sorbian: mlóč
Czech: pampeliška
Ukrainian: кульбаба
Russian: одуванчик
Croatian: maslačak
Slovenian: regrat
Bulgarian: глухарче

I hope that other food lovers will forgive me that I lied when I said that spring means young beet and radish leaves. I really didn't mean to forget about dandelions, young nettles, violets and woodruff. I just spent a weekend at my grandparents' village and I am so relaxed and happy, with a bag full of ecological fresh dandelion greens. I collected them thinking about Swiss dandelion pie, quiche dent-de-lion. Of course, as a true soups lover, I was experimenting with dandelion soup, too. Pictures below.

pie shell:
200 g flour
1 teaspoon salt
80 g butter (cold!)
50 ml (cold!) water

filling:
50 g dandelion leaves (chopped)
100 g camembert cheese
100 ml 30% cream
200 ml milk
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
few freshly ground nutmeg

1. Prepare the pie shell by kneading rapidly all the ingredients (they have to be cold, as said above). make a ball and leave in the fridge (min.30 minutes!)

2. Prepare the filling: beat eggs with milk and cream, add finally chopped camembert, salt, nutmeg (pepper, paprika) and chopped dandelion leaves.

3. Cover your pyrex dish or baking tray with few butter, roll thinly the dough and place in the dish, pick several times with a fork and pour egg-dandelion filling. Bake about 30 minutes in 180C oven. I guess that meat-eaters could add some cubes of ham or favourite sausage to the filling. This pie can also be made with fresh spinach or (especially) bear's garlic (ramsons).





A dandelion leaves soup was very easy to make. I was actually looking for some traditional regional dandelion soup recipe, but I didn'y find any, so I used my imagination and chopped some handfuls of dandelion leaves, 3 onions, 6 small potatoes, fried raw vegetables, cooked in homemade vegetable broth and thickned with sour cream mixed with fat countryside milk and 1 tablespoon of flour. It tastes nicely sourish and bitter and a bit like spinach and this is how it looks like:



And, one of the most important things to do in spring is to collect dandelion blooms! don't forget to do it right now to prepare dandelion syrup! (recipe available here)

2 comments:

CeramiquesDeCherie said...

I so much wish that I could take advantage of this recipe but in America they consider dandylions to be weeds and spray them with pesticides making them dangerous to eat even if some do sprout through. If I ever find a clear field though, I am going to make this!

Ewa said...

Cherie, maybe if you own a garden or allotment, you could sow dandelion? But I am not a specialist about gardening and don't know if a common dandelion is selled anywhere... I collected my flowers and leaves at the countryside, where my family lives, but my uncle sprayed several meadows with some chemical substances, so I had to look for the untouched place...