Amanda’s note: Here is another fun post by Carol Little of Studio Botanica. She mentioned the concept of dandelion pickles in her post here on dandelion vinegar and I said, “Carol, we NEED to know more about that.” She sent me a recipe, I made it, waited around for two weeks before I could taste it, and said, “Whoa!.” Here you go. Use the brine or the vinegar method and enjoy.
With the abundance of sunny dandy flowers, I can guarantee that I will be out there with a little basket, gathering to my heart’s content!
So many ideas. Time is my only limitation. Happily, these sunny friends, champions of the green world, are plentiful and against all odds, thriving!
One of my most favourite things to do? Preserve the bounty of green in creative ways, so that the availability of each plant can be enjoyed long after the plant itself has passed its prime.
Here’s an idea — easy + fun + tasty too!
It’s more of a guideline than a recipe. Have a look and alter it to suit your own taste. Do you like heat? Add more peppers. Just a little? Add some and omit the jalapeno seeds, for example. When possible, use more flower buds than full flowers.
There are two parts to this plan. The first includes the dandelions and flavouring ‘agents’. The second part is essentially ‘the brine’ — the pickling liquid.
Pickled Dandelion Ingredients
- Glass canning jar with good fitting lid
- Dandelion buds, flowers, leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1-2 inches ginger root, thinly sliced
- Optional: hot pepper flakes or jalapeno pepper (or your favourite)
Pickled Dandelion Brine
- 1 part apple cider vinegar (ACV)
- 2 parts water, salted (use 12 teaspoons salt per 2 cups of water)
- 1/4 part Tamari (or low sodium soy, or Bragg’s Amino Acids)
Note: the amount of brine needed will depend on the quantity of dandelions picked.
Your results will also vary based on your choice of pepper. Use your imagination and let your taste-buds guide you!
I use a conversion table to help organize my liquid measurements:
2 cups = 1 pint = 16 fluid ounces –
4 cups = 2 pints = 1 quart = 32 fluid ounces –
16 cups = 4 pints = 1 gallon = 128 fluid ounces
I usually try to make a quart so I gather a huge pile of plant material. When I get home from harvesting, I spread all of the dandelions out on a couple of newspapers and sort through, separating buds into one bowl and flowers into a second. I strip the leaves from the stems but also allow some to remain attached to stems. I cut the stems into 2-inch pieces and set aside.
To make 1 quart, or 4 cups, measure 1 cup of ACV, 2 cups of salt water (as per the ratio above), and 1/4 cup Tamari (or your choice) into a large measuring cup.
There needs to be room for the plant material, too, so there will be brine left over. I tend to reserve this extra in a small glass jar as it is often needed to top up the liquid after a few days.
For a special effect, put the plant material into the glass jar, in layers. Start with some leaves and stems, followed by flowers, then buds, red onion, garlic, ginger and hot peppers (at random!). Repeat until all ingredients are tucked into your jar.
Use a chop-stick or inverted wooden spoon to poke the ingredients a little to release any trapped air bubbles.
Make sure that the brine mixture covers all, leaving nothing exposed.
Cover the jar with a non-metal lid and store in a dark cupboard. If all that is available is a traditional metal canning jar lid, put a layer of waxed paper between the metal and the jar to avoid rust.
Check the jar every day for the next while to ensure that the plant material remains covered. Top up as needed with the reserved brine liquid.
This pickled dandy dish makes a tasty side dish, a creative addition to your next appetizer platter, a delicious idea in a ‘tapas’ menu, and even elevates traditional dishes like potato salad to a new level!
The Super Quick Version
In a hurry and want to make the pickled dandies in a flash?
- Harvest the dandelions.
- Separate and layer with 1 thinly sliced red onion.
- Top with white wine vinegar.
- Poke with chopstick to remove air bubbles.
- Pop a lid on the jar and check for a couple of days to ensure plant material is covered.
- Top up with more vinegar if needed.
- Shake every day or two.
- It’s ready in 2-4 weeks.
Pucker up! It’s tart and tasty and possibly your next favourite thing!