Put those dandelions to good use with this dandelion capers recipe.
Every part of a dandelion is edible, so why poison them when you can eat them? Yes, those annoying "weeds" are actually a really nutritious herb that can be added to salads, brewed into tea, and in this case, made into faux capers.
Better yet... they are free! However, it is important to find a clean batch. If you are interested in adding dandelions to your diet, try to find a location that is far from traffic, not subject to the spraying of weed killers or other pesticides, and is not frequented by domestic animals.
For this recipe, you're looking for the closed buds, but while you're at it why not pick the entire plant. We all know it won't have a problem growing back. Use the fresh greens in salads, or adapt my arugula pesto by using dandelion greens instead. The tops and roots can be frozen in an airtight container and kept in the freezer for later use.
(Makes 1 pint | Serving size = 1 teaspoon)
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1, 3/4 cups dandelion buds, unopened
2, 1-inch strips lemon zest, pith removed
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring a pot of water to a simmer. Add the dandelion buds and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or just until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a saucepan, still over medium-high heat, add the wine, vinegar, and salt. Heat until the salt is dissolved, and the mixture comes to a boil, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a warm pint jar, place the dandelion buds, pressing them down to minimize air pockets. Add the lemon zest strips. There needs to be at least a 1/2-inch headspace at the top of the jar.
Pour the brine into the jar a little at a time. Use a skewer or knife to help the brine saturate the buds and remove air bubbles.
Seal the jar and flip it upside-down. Let it cool upside-down on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks before using.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 2 | total fat = 0.01g | saturated fat = 0g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 29.51mg | net carbohydrates = 0.09g | dietary fibre = 0.05g | sugars = 0.01g | protein = 0.03g