The dandelion plant is really easy to identify with their yellow tufted flowers and jagged green leaves. Called dandelion from the french dent-de-lion meaning lion's tooth due to their distinctive leaf shape, they are considered to many a weed popping up everywhere, and have been eaten in the UK for centuries. Dandelion and burdock has been drunk since the middle ages, where the dandelion was fermented to produce an alcoholic mead, but today we know it as a fizzy soft drink. The leaves of the plant are versatile and can be used in salads along with the yellow petals of the flowers.
In Miles Irving's book The Forager Handbook he suggests frying your dandelion leaves with a little bacon, white wine and adding a poached egg on top, a perfect forager's breakfast! So that's exactly what we're going to do this weekend, with fried eggs instead, here's our version;
20 dandelion leaves (young leaves as old are bitter, washed and picked from a clean place not a roadside)
3 rashers of smoked bacon - chopped
2 free range eggs
(salt and pepper to season)
1 dandelion flower - to sprinkle the yellow petals over the top
- heat a knob of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat
- chop in the bacon in small bits and fry until just starting to crisp
- move bacon to one side and break the eggs into the pan to fry
- add in the dandelion leaves on top of the bacon until they wilt
- serve on a plate placing the egg on top and garnish with petals
- season to taste
- eat outside on a sunny day!