Today I am going to share with you a new experiment I tried which turned out to be a wonderful success—pickled dandelion greens!! Our local Los Osos Valley Organic Farm sells dandelion greens regularly, and I wanted to make something I had never made with this vegetable to expand the potential of its creative use.
Pickling Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens are delicious raw, cooked, or sautéed. You can read about their health benefits in my previous article “Sautéed Dandelion Greens Pasta with Grilled Kabocha Squash”.
Eating large amounts of raw dandelion greens might not be for everyone, since their flavor is quite bitter. So, I imagined pickling them could make the bitterness somewhat milder, and yet conserve their freshness as if eating raw to some degree.
As I looked online to see if there was such way of usage existing, it did indeed! I found this blog Simply-Gourmet where the dandelion greens were pickled together with red onion. What a lovely idea!
Ingredients for pickling
Taking the combination of dandelion greens and red onion as an inspiration, I pickled a bunch of fresh dandelion greens with half a red onion in the pickling brine. The ratio of ingredients for the pickling brine is the same as the one for my red onion pickles and cucumber pickles.
For my pickles, I use apple cider vinegar. Its sweeter flavor helps me to add a minimum amount of additional sugar. Since I love eating and enjoying the pickled vegetables’ own flavor as simply as possible, I usually don’t add dill or any other herbs and spices, except coarsely crushed black pepper, smashed garlic, and bay leaf.
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 3 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-2 bay leaf
- black pepper
How to pickle
- Have the jar sterilized. I used a 32oz Ball jar, but the jar didn’t get filled with a bunch of dandelion greens. Since it was stored in the fridge and we ate it after pickling for 5 days, it was fine. If you want to keep them in the fridge for a longer time, you might want to find the jar that fits well with the volume of dandelion greens.
- Cut the dandelion greens to your desired length. Also, cut half a red onion and smash the garlic cloves.
- Put dandelion greens, red onion, as well as garlic, bay leaf, and coarsely ground black pepper into the jar.
- Into a pot, pour in the apple cider vinegar and water, then add salt and sugar, and start cooking.
- Mix the brine with the whisk or spoon while cooking for the salt and sugar to dissolve.
- Once the brine comes to a boil, turn off the heat and pour into the jar.
- Close the jar and let it sit on the counter until it cools down to room temperature.
- Put the jar in the fridge and let it sit 5-7 days. Then the pickles are ready!
Flavor of dandelion green pickles
Here you can enjoy the bitter flavor of the dandelion greens at just the perfect strength! It is an absolutely unique and lovely taste that can add a special dimension to the meal that you make them with or add to. I let Jim, the farmer of Los Osos Valley Organic Farm, taste the pickles, and he enjoyed it so much, which made me feel very happy. What a gift to be able to offer a dish made with the vegetable that he grows with so much love and care!
How to use pickled dandelion greens
You can surely use the pickles as a condiment or small side dish in your meal.
I used the pickles for quinoa salad. Once removing from the jar, I cut the dandelion greens into thinner strips and put into a large bowl. I then added the red onion, finely shredded carrots, and massaged kale. Then I poured 6 tbsp of pickling brine and 4 tbsp of flax oil, mixing them together. After the shredded carrots and kale were mixed well with the brine, I added quinoa (at room temperature) to mix together. Lastly, I added some tender fresh green salads and mixed them all well together.
You can also add any toppings such as avocado, hempseed, grilled tempeh… But this time, I topped it with hummus, fermented hot sauce, and pickled radish. It was delicious!!!