I bought some dandelion greens yesterday and I can't seem to figure out what to do with them. Chopped them up in salad, way too bitter - borderline unpalatable. Steamed with some cranberries and tallow, still bitter. Sub bacon fat, or coconut oil, add sweeter fruit, still not doing it. Are they supposed to be this bitter?
Blanching them first will get rid of some of the bitterness.
Also, one of my favorite things to do when the dandelions start poking up is to harvest the closed flowerheads and sautee in butter. They taste like a cross between asparagus and okra.
Wash them well, and put them in a metal or wooden bowl with some thinly sliced onions and walnuts.
Cook a bunch of bacon, up to a pound. Drain well and continue to keep the bacon fat warm.
Pour bacon fat over the dandelion greens, partially "cooking" them.
Chop up the bacon and add it to the greens, as well as a light toss with some apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
If you take out the walnuts, you'll have the first dish my grandmother ever made for me using dandelion greens - and if I remember correctly, I cleaned my plate and asked for seconds as a small (8-10 years old) kid.
The salad is called "Wilted Dandelion Salad" and I'm sure it's around on google somewheres. This recipe also works well for most greens... but the bitter ones (Broccoli Raab, Dandelion, Mustard, Turnip) especially.
I'm doing dandelion greens and red kale myself this week. I do them in the slow cooker with some meaty bones, marrow bones and a knuckle bone. Simmer bones for 2-3 days as you would for bone broth, then toss the greens in and cook on low/warm for about 8 hours. I splash them with a bit of apple cider vinegar before eating them.
I first saw this recipe in an herbal midwifery book. It is called Dandelion Italiano.
The trick is to discard the water several times, the more bitter the leaves, the more changes of water. Although, I've often wondered if the bitterness was part of the medicinal effect.
Maybe try sauteeing them with olive oil and garlic? I just eat 'em raw with some cubed tomato from my brother's garden. They're tough and bitter, but they're free, thery're fresh, they're organic, thery're high in calcuim, and I get bonus paleo-points from gathering them in my backyard.
As far as I've experienced, yes. I usually throw them in soups and stews. Cooking for a while will get rid of some of the bitterness, and will wilt the leaves a bit (they tend to be pretty tough), but they are really just a bitter plant. Didn't you ever try to eat one as a child?