I love wild twists on old favourite recipes, this one is spectacular. This recipe was passed on to me from my friend Chef Eddy. The original recipe was radicchio marmalade from Cin Cin Restaurant in Vancouver. Our twist is to use foraged dandelion greens and flowers instead of radicchio. Serve with duck or on buttered toast.
How to correctly identify dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion has toothed leaves, a hollow, branch-less stem with a milky sap and large yellow flowers.
Here’s how to tell a dandelion from it’s cousins (there are many look-a-likes):
- Their blossoms are always one flower to one stalk. If there is more than one flower to a stalk it’s not a dandelion.
- Have multiple blossom stalks that don’t branch. If there any branches on flower stalks, it’s not a dandelion.
- Flower stalks are always hollow, and yield a white sap when broken. If the flower stalk isn’t hollow it’s not a dandelion.
- They grow in rosettes from the ground. They never send up stalks with leaves on them. If there are stalks with leaves on them, it’s not a dandelion.
- The leaves have no hairs on the rib on the back of the leaf (there may be a white fluff). This is a key to identifying dandelion when it’s not in flower. If there are hairs, it’s not a dandelion.
Dandelion leaves vary in shape, but generally have a classic jagged edge. Young ones may look rounder. Make 100% sure of your plant identification before harvesting please, come out on one of our foraging tours in Vancouver or take an online foraging program with us for safety.
Dandelion Marmalade Recipe
Makes 4 cups
- Young dandelion greens – 4 cups
- Sugar – 2 cups
- Orange juice – 2 cups
- Butter – 1 cup
- Balsamic vinegar – 1 cup
- Spices: zests of 1 orange, a bay leaf, thyme, 4 juniper berries, 4 cloves, 1/2 stick cinnamon, dandelion petals from 8 large heads
1. Caramelize chopped dandelion with 1 Tsp sugar and 1/2 cup of butter
2. Add OJ, remaining sugar, balsamic, spices
3. Reduce liquid over med-high flame, stirring and keeping an eye on it that it doesn’t burn. Think of it as a jam. It’s gotta be quite thick (no more liquid pooling in the pot), cook for around 15 min. Once it is jammy, you add the rest of the butter, reduce the flame to med, and let it thicken nicely, around 10-15 more minutes cooking.