Now is the time to get out and make this simple delicious dandelion recipe. In the spring dandelions are plentiful and I make a huge batch of this dandelion infusion which you can use as a cordial to add to water or cocktails (a little in a gin and tonic is AMAZING!!). And I actually use this infusion as a sweet and sour sauce to finish a dish of tofu cooked wrapped in seaweed, served with pickled apple and this beautiful fresh dandelion sauce (see image above).
The dandelion infusion is acidic, bright, fresh and floral. In my example above it offers contrast to the salty tofu and it is delicate enough to work as part of a small savoury dish.
I’ll give the detailed recipe below but I’ll talk you through the stages first.
To make the dandelion infusion first you need to pick a boat load of dandelions. April and May is perfect for this in the UK. Try and find places to pick them away from the roads and also not frequented my dog walkers. I got mine this year from an overgrown field off the beaten track a bit where they had been left undisturbed. It is also best to get your dandelions about midday as the flowers will start to close up again in the evening.
Once you have collected your dandelions you need to prepare the liquid that they will infuse into and let his cool (see recipe bellow). This cold infusion is important as infusing in a hot liquid would loose some of the delicate flavour from the dandelion.
Next you pick the petals out of the dandelion heads that you have collected. This is laborious and will stain your hands like turmeric, but the results are going to be ace so stick with it!
Now it is just a case of letting your dandelion petals infuse in the liquid at room temperature for 48 hour. Then you can strain the liquid and store it in the fridge, or freeze it for longer term storage.
Check out the full recipe bellow and I hope you enjoy it.
75g Picked dandelion petals (from approx 150g dandelion heads)
500g Caster sugar
1 Litre water
30g Citric acid
Juice and zest of 4 lemons
Pick the yellow petals from the dandelion heads and throw away the rest of the head (this is laborious but necessary). You want 75g petals.
Combine the sugar, citric acid, water, lemon zest and juice and bring to a simmer.
Allow this to cool
Add the petals to the cooled liquid and allow to infuse at room temperature for 48 hours, then strain and bottle or freeze the cordial.