Foodies rejoice, you can have your lawn and eat it too! Celebrate the first signs of Spring with these Sweet Potato Patties on Sautéed Dandelion Greens. The sweet nature of the Sweet Potato Patties are a perfect companion to the bitter dandelion greens. Season with coarse flaky salt and enjoy!
The Delicious First Signs of Spring
Don’t you just love spotting the first signs of spring? Robins singing and building their nest, blue skies (or rain!), and…dandelions! They are inescapable and persistent. Young children love the yellow flowers and the yellow stained sap covered hands. Gardeners fertilize in attempt to get a jump on the idealistic weed free lawn. Young soccer players build flower crowns instead of defending their zones.
I didn’t know this before but the dandelion is not native to North America. There is no solid evidence to suggest how it was brought over but there are a few theories. One is that it was intentionally brought over by European colonists to be used as a medicinal and culinary ingredient. The other is natural movement of the light, fluffy seeds hitching a ride over the ocean.
Health Benefits of Dandelions
Foodies rejoice, you can have your lawn and eat it too! The leaves of the young dandelion plant (notice I didn’t say weed) are delicious in salads and as sauteed greens. They are high in vitamin A, C , K, and B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron (crucial for generating red blood cells), potassium (to help regulate heart rate and blood pressure), and manganese.* What time is better than Spring to cleanse your body with this natural diuretic AND inject some good stuff into your blood. I’m not a doctor, but eating healthier in the Spring always seems a good way to chase away those winter blues to me.
A Special Vegan Dish
I don’t create vegan recipes that often but my daughter, Julia, is back from her first year at UBC. I am once more sharing my kitchen and dining table with a vegan. It’s great to have her back and I’ve noticed how she’s changed and matured over the year. She’s not my little girl anymore but at the same time I am so proud of the young human she’s becoming. She’s spent some time telling me stories about some of the slightly horrifying (remember I’m her mother!) adventures she’s had while away.
I can’t help but remember back to my university days and realize that taking risks and having fun are all part of growing up. She was fortunate to have been assigned to an on campus residence with three other young ladies. Their kitchen became a hub for dinner parties and a place for friends who didn’t have their own kitchens to cook in. I’d say that’s a pretty great way to meet like-minded people and forge life long friendships, wouldn’t you?
Find a Reputable Dandelion Green Source
Don’t pick the dandelion greens from your backyard if you have dogs. Find an area that hasn’t been sprayed and pick yours, or buy them at a health food store if you want to be sure they are organic and clean. They’re great in a salad before but only if you have really young tender leaves. Sautéeing them in a bit of oil, salt, and acid makes them quite tasty as well. This recipe also uses one of the first herbs that will come up in your garden in the spring, grab those chives while they are young and tender and use them on everything!
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*Dandelion nutritional information from Food Facts presented by Mercola
Fun Foraging Recipes from Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
Sweet Potato Patties with Dandelion Greens
Sweet Potato Patties with Dandelion Greens
- 2 large sweet potatoes; peeled and cut into 4 cm pieces
- 2 cups fresh dandelion greens; finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro; finely chopped
- garlic powder
- 3 tbsp shiro powder
- 2 tbsp fresh chives; chopped
- 1/2 can navy beans (9 oz); drained and rinsed
- For the sautéed greens:
- 3 cups fresh dandelion greens; chopped
- avocado oil
- fresh lime juice
- Combine the finely chopped dandelion greens and cilantro with some salt in a bowl. Let sit.
- Boil the sweet potato pieces in a pot of salted water until fork tender. Mash.
- Wrap the greens in a paper towel, clean towel, or cheese cloth and twist all the water out.
- Add the greens, garlic powder, shiro powder, green onions and beans to the sweet potatoes and combine.
- Sauté greens in a bit of avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze a bit of lime or lemon juice over. Arrange on plate.
- Form sweet potato mixture into patties and lightly fry them in a frying pan with avocado oil OR bake at 375 F for 20 minutes, then flip over and bake for another ten.
- Serve patties on dandelion greens. Garnish with a scattering of large grained salt and fresh cilantro leaves over all.