Dandelion Gravy: A true tonic of spring

Harvest dandelion greens BEFORE the yellow flowers appear. After the flowers are present the greens will have a much more bitter flavor.

(Editor’s Note: This old-time recipe was submitted by Nancy Hostetler, mother of Web Designer Diane Hostetler. Try it this spring!)

My mother remembers my grandma making this nearly every spring.  It was a spring tonic, just what one needed after a long, cold winter.

My memories of it are the somewhat bitter taste of the dandelion which as a child I did not care for.  But as spring came on with the rains and greening grass, I saw dandelion growing too, and I wondered if my adult palate might be more appreciative of this delicacy.  And so I invited my mother to my house for supper to teach me how to make it.  She brought the ingredients for the dandelion gravy and I made a bar-b-q chicken breast for each of us.  We mashed the potatoes on our plates and spooned the gravy over them. Wow! Was it ever good!  Better than my childhood memories, and now I have a new memory of cooking with my mom and learning a new recipe. Try it yourself this season!

Old-Fashioned Dandelion Gravy
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Ingredients
  1. 6-7 slices bacon
  2. 2 T. flour
  3. 2 T. sugar
  4. 2 T. vinegar
  5. 2 eggs
  6. some water
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. fresh dandelion greens*
  9. 2 hard-boiled eggs
Instructions
  1. Chop bacon in 1" pieces and fry in pan.  When it is crispy, drain on a paper towel.
  2. Dispose of the grease but keep about a tablespoon of it in the pan.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, vinegar, and eggs. Add enough water to make a thin paste consistency.
  4. Stir this into the bacon grease and cook till thickened -gravy consistency.
  5. Add washed dandelion greens, stirring in just to wilt.
  6. Slice the hard-boiled eggs on top and crumble the bacon on top of the eggs.
  7. Serve over salt-water boiled potatoes, mashed if desired.
Notes
  1. *Harvest dandelion greens before the yellow flowers emerge. After they bloom, the taste of the greens becomes much more bitter.
Lehman's Country Life http://blog.lehmans.com/

7 thoughts on “Dandelion Gravy: A true tonic of spring

  1. My Mom liked this, but she also liked Dandelion greens on sandwiches and in salad. The other gals in the office knew she lived in the country and asked her to bring some dandelion to share. She did, and as they were sharing it out she realized why these city gals didn’t just cut their own when one of them asked, “Don’t you have dogs where you live?” Mom replied, “Sure we do, but we know them all.”

  2. My mom made this dressing (minus the hard-boiled eggs and the bacon) to eat over fresh-picked leaf lettuce (Bibb-type). Will definitely try this with the dandelions!

  3. this recipe is so far removed from ANYTHING I have ever tried….so much so I will have to try it once the snow is off the ground and the dandelions come up.

  4. I’m getting ready to make dandelion jelly, but had never heard of gravy!! Thanks for the recipe. We eat the greens as well, and I’ve read that the larger roots can be dried and used sort of like cofft grounds.

  5. Bacon fat and vinegar would make shoe leather palatable! Still waiting for ANY signs of green here… even the trees are still bud-less, this after consistently gorgeous warm/sunny weather. Making me wonder if we still have a snowfall ahead.
    But once we do have dandelions… definitely making this!