Garden, Plant, Cook!

Monday, December 07, 2015

25 Days of Herbs and Celebrations -- December 7

Dear Folks,

Celebrating the Multicultural festivities of December, I thought I would pick an herb or spice which is referenced in the Bible (land of three of the Major Religions of the world) and used in many cuisines around the entire world, as a way of gathering together all the wealth of diversity around us - in true celebration.

Day 7
Herb:  Dandelion, Taraxacum Officinale,  a bitter herb of the Bible

Hanukkah Continues - this site gives history, children's activities and more.

The Bible does not specifically name Dandelion, but it is presumed to be one of the bitter herbs.  As often happens with historic writings, we can make some better than a guess about what constituted - in this and other instances - the "Bitter Herbs."  However, the dandelion is not only a probable Biblical plant considered as one of the "bitter herbs," but for centuries around the world this herb has been valued for food. -- Herbs of the Bible  By Allan A. Swenson

I am sure I was one of millions of children who plucked the bright yellow flowers to bring a bouquet to their mothers, or blew the delicate seed head and watch them float away.  A lawn-purist's nightmare, the Dandelion is again coming back to appreciation for all of its great culinary uses, and the pollinators love them too.

Dandelions are found on all continents and have been gathered for food since prehistory, but the varieties cultivated for consumption are mainly native to Eurasia.  -- wikipedia


The entire Dandelion plant is edible, known for its tonic properties and digestive aid.  The roots are roasted to make a caffeine-free coffee substitute.  The flower petals used to make a spring Dandelion Wine.  The leaves and flower buds are blanched or sauteed like spinach, or used raw in salads.

More of the Farmers Markets are carrying Dandelion greens along with other ancient lessor-known greens and vegetables.


Baker Creek carries some cultivars for growing some named varieties of the Dandelion.  The plant is most happy in the cool weather here in the valley.


Dandelion Wine - at

And another recipe at Mother Earth News has recipes for using Dandelions to make pestos, salads, using the greens in dressings, dumplings and batter-dipped and fried flower heads!


Sleigh Ride
Harry Connick, Jr.

Sip a glass of wine and listen to
Baby It's Cold Outside
Barry Manilow & K.T. Oslin

Little Drummer Boy (Peace On Earth)
Bing Crosby & David Bowie

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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Find my books and gardening calendar on my publisher's site.

My cookbook focuses on an herb or spice, with history and some familiar sounding and unique recipes.  On Google Books you can look in the cookbook.

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