Harvested from the lawn: dandelions, a capers recipe
Weeks ago I harvested all the dandelions that lived in our garden. I collected the flowers to make syrup, but also the buds so that I could make dandelion capers. I made them and today we finally tried them out and they were yummy, so definitely worth sharing with you for this years dandelions (if you still have them) or next years.
These dandelions are harvested from the wild, when you harvest things from the wild, please inform yourself about the plants and about possible deseases animals carry and could possibly have left on the harvest. If you have checked that, then quickly move on to this recipe.
What do you need:
- dandelion buds (as many as you can get, preferably closed, but if they are open slightly it’s not a problem)
- jar (+ lid)
- vinegar (I used berry vinegar, but you can use any kind of vinegar)
- fresh oregano
- pepper granules
- dry beans or something
- First of all place the buds in ice cold water and let it rest for an hour or so. This milds down the wild bitterness of the buds.
- Then cook up some water (about 1 cup) with 3 tablespoons of salt (this depends a bit on how many buds you find, but I made only this jar below). When the water is warm and the salt dissolved, place the buds the cleaned jar you are using and pour the warm water (+salt) onto the buds till it’s filled up to the top. Let it cool down, close it and place it in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. It’s nice if all the capers are placed under water, place something on top of the capers and under the lid to keep them low (dry beans work well).
- When that’s done, take the buds out of the salt water, drain them. Heat up the vinegar (about 1 cup), let it cook and place the buds for a minute or so cook in the vinegar (I prefer not to eat raw things from the wild, in some areas you can “catch” tapeworm, not the pretty kind). Then take it away from the fire, add one teaspoon of salt, a few garlic cloves, fresh oregano, pepper granules and mix it up. Place everything in a clean jar and fill it up as much as possible. You don’t have to fill things up with beans this time, since the buds are probably watery enough now to stay “low”. Place the lid on top and close it tightly, turn it upside down and let it cool down. When cooled down, let it rest in the fridge for at least two or three weeks.
You can use the capers the same way as you use “normal” capers. We only tasted a few capers today and didn’t make a salad with it, but tomorrow I’ll make a fresh salad with some lettuce from the garden and I will use these buds in the mix. This one is definitely a keeper for next year, I might be able to harvest more if I start earlier in the season.
Dandelion remains a favorite for me, but you can also try this out with some other flowers that can be eaten, you can just follow the same recipe and just change the type of buds.