Dandelion Stalk Noodles

Wild Violet Jelly

(As featured in the May 2012 issue of Practically Seeking)

Dandelions, Dandelions, Dandelions... What to do with all those dandelions covering up your yard? This easy-to-identify yard "weed" is one of the most common plants of spring and summer and has been the victim of a vicious campaign against it. Which is a real shame!

Dandelions have beautiful flowers and are a HUGE attractor of beneficial insects and all-important pollinators and when you see them begin to bloom in your yard you should rejoice!

In spite of what the lawn care commercials would have you believe, dandelions are one of the healthiest, most nutritious plants you will find.

Every part of the dandelion is edible and you can make all kinds of delicious dishes, from jelly to wine to fritters to a tasty hot beverage (there is no substitute for coffee) to the yummy pasta-esque dish we're going to make today.
You can pick the dandelion stems to eat fresh, or you can dehydrate and store them for later use. Either way you can follow the same directions; if you are using dehydrated noodles just add a few extra minutes to the boiling time.


Step-by-step Instructions on How to Make Dandelion Stalk Noodles:

  1. Gather several handfuls of flower stems. The stems can be used before, during, and after the yellow flower or seed head appears, but the smaller, younger stems with flowers in full bloom are the best. In other words, as long as you can still make it out as a flower stalk you can use it but the smaller stems tend to be less fibrous than the bigger ones.
  2. Common Dandelion Gathering dandelions Gather a handful

  3. Remove any bud, flowers or seed heads, as well as any injured or wilted sections, and rinse the stems thoroughly.
  4. Remove flower heads from stems Remove any wilted or damaged areas Rinse well

  5. Bring a large sauce pan of water to boil.
  6. Bring pot of water to boil

  7. Add the rinsed and drained flower stalks to the boiling water, just like you would do for pasta.
  8. Add stalks to water Just like pasta

  9. Boil until the stalks are a pale green (about 5-8 minutes), stirring occasionally.
  10. Stir occassionaly

  11. Remove a stalk and taste test for bitterness. If you find it to be too bitter for your taste then continue to boil for a few more minutes. You can also add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the boiling stalks; this will help remove any bitter aftertaste.
  12. Boil until not bitter Add vinegar to remove bitterness

  13. Drain, and add a little butter or olive oil if you wish.
  14. Drain noodles Add butter or oil

  15. Serve with favorite pasta sauce (Eddie is enjoying them with a Stinging Nettle Alfredo) and ENJOY!
  16. Add your favorite sauce Enjoy!

(Thanks to our good friend Frank Cipriani for introducing
us to this delicious delicacy.)

Until next time, give this delicious and unique treat a try,
and Have Fun!

Want to learn more about identifying, harvesting and eating Wild Edibles?
Come on out to our
Front-yard Foraging workshop
coming up on July 7th!