Recipe: Dandelion Pasta


From the Vitality Food Feature ‘The Bitter Tastes of Spring‘.

Gather dandelion in the spring when the leaves are young and tender and the bitter astringent quality is still present but not overpowering. Be sure to snip from areas that have not been exposed to chemical pesticides and car exhaust.


  • 4 cups packed fresh, washed dandelion greens
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion (Vidalia or Bermuda), coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 each: green and red pepper, julienned
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2-lb cooked whole wheat or soba noodles

1) In a pot of boiling water, parboil dandelion for 2 to 3 minutes, until wilted and slightly tender. Set aside in a colander to drain. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water for the sauce.

2) In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Stir in onions, cook gently, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add remaining 2 Tbsp oil to the pan and stir in garlic, ginger and sliced peppers and cook for 10 minutes, until soft.

3) Meanwhile, coarsely chop drained dandelion leaves. Add dandelion, balsamic vinegar and 1/4-cup reserved cooking water to the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently until sauce is thickened, then toss in cooked pasta. Heat through and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings

Pat Crocker's mission in life is to write with insight and experience, cook with playful abandon, and eat chilies with gusto. As a professional Home Economist (BAA, Ryerson U., Toronto) and Culinary Herbalist, Pat’s passion for healthy food is fused with her knowledge and love of herbs. Her wellness practice transitioned over more than four decades of growing, photographing, and writing about what she calls, the helping plants. In fact, Crocker infuses the medicinal benefits of herbs in every original recipe she develops. An award-winning author, Pat has written 23 herb/healthy cookbooks, including The Healing Herbs Cookbook,The Juicing Bible, and her latest books, Cooking with Cannabis andThe Herbalist’s Kitchen.

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