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 eat more mean greens. Author of 23 cookbooks, Crocker holds a degree in Food, Nutrition, Consumer, and Family Studies (Ryerson University, Toronto) and is a culinary herbalist with more than 1.25 million books in print and several translated into over 11 languages. She holds 2 awards from the International Herb Association and received the Gertrude H. Foster award from the Herb Society of America for Excellence in Herbal Literature. Her books, The Juicing Bible and The Vegan Cook’s Bible (Robert Rose) have won “Best in the World” awards from the International Gourmand Culinary Guild. Her book, The Herbalist's Kitchen (Sterling, 2018) earned Silver in the Health and Special Diet category from Taste Canada. Look for Pat’s latest book, Cooking with Cannabis (Sterling 2020) in bookstores this summer. Visit

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