The Dandelion Plant is an incredible and versatile wild edible. From flower to root, the entire plant is edible. The focus of this post, however, is the root.
I don’t think I need to go into too much detail about how to identify this plant. Most everyone knows what the dandelion looks like. It has very distinct leaves with no poisonous look-a-likes to my knowledge. In the spring it commonly has a bright yellow flower. This flower seeds to a fluffy head of seeds as the plant matures.
The Dandelion plant has a long carrot-like taproot, so dig deep or you will break it off. Here is a picture of a few plants I collected to prepare my dandelion root vegetable.
After you’ve dug enough roots, the next step is to wash off the dirt and trim them up.
Then, I typically take a knife blade and lightly scrape off the outside peel.
After the root is peeled I slice it up just like you would a carrot.
The larger & more mature roots have a slightly bitter (but surprisingly pleasant) taste. When you harvest dandelion roots, be sure to keep the leaves. These make an excellent steamed green – prepare them like spinach.
If preparing the root in the field or over an open fire you can also boil it as long as you have a container. Otherwise, the roots can be roasted on a stick until tender or placed directly on a bed of hot coals or rocks.
Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,
Creek Stewart is the Owner & Lead Instructor at Willow Haven Outdoor Survival School located in Central Indiana & online at https://willowhavenoutdoor.com.