RECIPE: Dandelion (4 ways!)

What connects capers, coffee, crisp salads & cream teas!? – It’s the humble Dandelion!

Dandelion are one of the most versatile wild botanicals, we make coffee with the roots, salad with the shoots, capers with the buds & sweet treats with the blooms, here’s how..

Just before you grab your bag, basket or bucket to fill with wild botanicals, make sure to follow these sustainable foraging guidelines.

Recipe 1: Dandelion Root Coffee

A delicious naturally caffeine-free coffee & one of our most popular drinks in the Botanical B&B!

  • Dandelion roots (the bigger the better as they shrink a lot when roasted)
  • Baking trays
  • Baking paper
  • Coffee grinder
  • Sieve
  1. Start by preheating your oven to 200 deg C. Then get your dandelion roots scrubbed clean using a stiff veg brush under running water.
  2. Once clean, make sure all stems roughly the same thickness by slicing any particularly chunky stems down the middle – this is to ensure everything roasts at roughly the same rate otherwise you can end of with some fully cremated while larger stems still pliable.
  3. Spreads on a baking tray lined with baking parchment & roast in the oven until the stems are brittle – this can take anywhere between 20-30minutes depending on your oven & the size of the roots. You don’t want to burn the roots, just roast so they should smell quite sweet once ready.
  4. Remove from the oven, allow to cool & then roughly break up the stems into coffee-bean size pieces. (IMPORTANT: If any of the roots are still bendy, pop them back in the oven to roast a little longer as bendy roots will make a mess of your coffee grinder!) Pour the crisp pieces of root into your coffee grinder & blitz into a powder.
  5. Sieve the dandelion root powder to remove any pieces, then pour into a sealed jar for storage.
  6. To serve: Best made into a latte! Add 1 tsp of dandelion root powder to a milk frother along with a 1 tsp of honey & a plant-based barista milk (we like oatly barista) – 2 minutes later the most silky smooth, warming mug of decaff coffee straight from your garden!

Recipe 2: Dandelion Capers

Hiding at the base of each rosette of Dandelion leaves are fresh new flower buds. Pick them while still tight & crisp & pickle to make the most wonderful little capers!

  • Dandelion buds (Must be picked when still tight buds, when the seeds have developed they’re too fibrous)
  • Sterilised jam jar(s)
  • Pickling vinegar & seasoning(s) of your choice
  • Saucepan
  1. Start by packing your foraged dandelion buds into a jam jar
  2. Then fill the jar to the top with a vinegar of your choice. Then drain out of the jar leaving the buds into a little saucepan, adding any herbs & spices you like & season to taste with salt, pepper & sugar.
  3. Heat to dissolve any seasonings & then cool before pouring over your dandelion buds. Keep in the fridge best used between 2 – 14days once the flavours have infused!
  4. TIP: I like to re-use previous pickling vinegars that I’ve enjoyed by re-heating them, cooling & then pouring over your buds (or anything else you want to pickle for that matter!).
  5. SERVE: These capers are delicious added to salads, on top of pizzas, in cheese sandwiches – in fact anything you want to bring a fresh little flavour kick to!

Recipe 3: Dandelion Salads

Not so much a recipe but inspiration for using every part of the dandelion (particularly if harvesting the roots for coffee, you’ll have lots of leaves leftover). Use only the youngest leaves in salads (you’ll find the most succulent, sweet ones in shadier spots too!) The leaves tend to become more & more bitter as they mature & the more sun they have on them. Add them alongside sweeter, more earthy salads leaves such a baby beet leaves & lettuce to balance the bitterness. Honey mustard salad dressings work really well along the bitter dandelion leaves.

Recipe 4: Dandelion Syrup

Last but not least the most versatile way of capturing the flavour of dandelion flowers – in a syrup. This recipe is from the wonderful Rachel Lambert. You can use it as a drizzle over griddle cakes & granola, use as a cordial to make refreshing Summer cocktails & mocktails or as a base for delicate floral sorbets.

We hope you enjoy foraging for & celebrating dandelion this Summer! Want to taste it!? We offer a range of dandelion infused dishes on the menu for guests staying in our botanical themed accommodation or visitors coming for any of our edible garden tours this Summer so why not join us for a taste!

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