Dandelion Capers

Alberto Carbo
Dandelion Capers are slightly bitter, salty, firm, and crunchy, adding character and texture, which makes a great combination for so many culinary endeavors.

The window for picking dandelion capers is small, and it comes early. What you want to look for is the small tiny buds. It is important to get the youngest possible buds, so that they are firm and crunchy, rather than fluffy and full of premature petals.

Pick the buds in early spring, before the stem shoots out from the rosette of basal leaves. You will usually find several buds in a cluster, at the center of the leaves. Make sure you only pick half from each plant, so that there are flowers left for the bees!

Dandelion Capers

  • 1 cup (250ml) dandelion buds
  • 1 cup (250ml) Water
  • 1 tbsp salt

  1. Dissolve the salt in the water to make brine.
  2. Pack the dandelion buds into a jar.
  3. Add the brine.
  4. Optional: add garlic or herbs of your choice.
  5. Make sure that the capers are submerged in the brine. If you have a fermentation kit, you can use a glass weight to cover it, otherwise cover it with a smaller jar.
  6. Cover with a clean cotton cloth and leave on the counter.
  7. In a week, they are good to go! Uncover and taste!
  8. The beauty of fermentation is that it keeps improving. You can either put a lid on and place them in the fridge or allow them to continue to ferment on the counter.
  9. Every few days the flavor will evolve, and you can keep trying them to find out what your favorite fermentation time is.

As always make sure to forage for plants away from roads and pollution as much as possible. Never overharvest any plant, as they are of course not only here for our enjoyment, but also here for the insects, bees, and birds. Have fun out there!
The information provided in this digital content is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. Matthew Wood, the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, ETS Productions, and their employees, guests, and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.