Grandma turned dandelion leaves into a tasty salad fit for a king or grandkid
“Philip, I want you to go out and pick some dandelions,” said my Grandmother. “I’m fixing salad for supper,” she explained, although it didn’t make much sense to a youngster nine or 10 years old.
I stayed overnight with grandma and grandpa, and grandma went on to explain she really didn’t want me to pick dandelion blossoms. She wanted me to pick the leaves.
“Here, take this bowl. You probably can find all we need on the way over to Aunt Florence’s house.”
Supper was simple. Really simple, but one of my all-time favorite meals. I would give a lot for it today. More than any streak dinner in a top restaurant.
Supper was fried bacon from a hog butchered on the little farm, wilted dandelion salad, homemade bread and butter, followed by another piece of homemade bread with strawberry jam.
I’m not for sure how grandma made the wilted dandelion salad. I know the mixture had vinegar, crumbled bacon, sugar and cut up eggs.
On the internet, I found a recipe for salad, and the internet search also reminded me that my friend Bill Scifres made very good dandelion wine.
Dandelion Salad with Cooked Dressing
4 slices bacon, cut in small pieces
approximately 2 c. chopped new dandelion leaves
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped onion
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. cream or milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
1/4 c. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
Toss together chopped dandelion, chopped onion and fried bacon pieces. Set aside. In skillet warm butter and cream until butter melts. Beat egg and then add salt, pepper, vinegar, sugar and flour. Blend the egg mixture into the slightly warm cream mixture. Increase heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
Pour hot dressing over the greens and toss gently. Add eggs before tossing. Serve at once. Gather the dandelion leaves early in the spring before the plants flower or they will be bitter.
My wife, Phyllis says she never heard of a similar cooked dressing with milk or cream, but including it would give it an interesting aspect.