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Author Notes: When I was a kid I loved it when my mom would make this for us. She got it from my dad's mother who would make it for her kids when they were young. She would use either bread crumbs or cracker crumbs as her dredge. I use panko and add a little lemon to complement the vegetal flavor of the flowers. Give this delicious snack a try next time your yard is over loaded with dandelions, and maybe, just maybe you will hate these dastardly weeds a bit less. —hardlikearmour
Serves 2 to 4 as an appetizer
- 15 to 20 dandelion flowers - make sure they've not been treated with herbicides or pesticides, please!
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 & 1/2 cups panko
- zest from one lemon, lemon then cut into wedges
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil
- clarified butter (optional)
- Thoroughly rinse dandelion flowers. Be careful not to get the latex on your clothes as it will stain. Carefully slice of the stem end because if you cut off too much the flowers will disintegrate. Carefully remove the small dark green sepals - I find my fingernails the best tool for this task. You want to remove all the dark green bits because they are bitter, but leave the light green "meat" to keep the flower intact. Place cleaned flowers on paper towels to dry after they've been cleaned.
- In a small bowl beat eggs and water until well-combined. Set aside. This is your "dip."
- Combine panko, lemon zest, salt, and pepper in another bowl. Mix well. Set aside. This is your "dredge."
- Heat enough olive oil or a 50-50 mix of olive oil and clarified butter in a sauté pan so it is about 1/8th-inch deep on medium to medium-high. Your pan should be large enough to fry the dandelions in 2 batches without crowding.
- While your oil is heating dip then dredge your dandelion flowers, making sure both sides are well coated. I like to stir the panko mixture occasionally to make sure the seasoning is well-distributed. Place dipped and dredged dandelions on a clean plate.
- Drop a few panko crumbs into your oil to make sure it is adequately heated. The crumbs should start to sizzle immediately. Once oil is hot enough fry dandelions on one side until golden brown, then flip and fry the other side. This should take no more than 2 minutes per side, and the second side takes less time than the first.
- Remove fried dandelions to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. When all dandelions have been fried, transfer them to a serving plate and spritz with lemon juice. Serve immediately with additional lemon wedges if desired.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Vegetable Recipe