Dandelion Green Croquettes

Jul 19 / Alberto Carbo
While there is certainly a burst of yellow that covers the landscape in the spring, these unassuming Dandelion flowers continue to show up throughout most of the growing season. Tragically, the majority of people view this lowly unassuming green being as a weed, a pest, an invasive and uninvited intruder.

When I first learned about the medicinal properties of Dandelion, I was baffled that something that can be so useful and beneficial for our health had somehow been deemed a nuisance. Time after time, I witnessed the same reaction, whenever I told someone else about the medicinal qualities of Dandelion.

Slowly I came to realize that part of Dandelion’s medicine is to demonstrate how reliable, effective, and accessible herbal medicine really is. It also highlighted one of the most important aspects of being an herbalist – educating people about the plants and how to appreciate them once again, even the ones that have been trampled on, and deemed “useless weeds”.

Aside from being highly accessible, Dandelion is medicinally applicable in many ways. All parts of the plant are useful, from the taproot below the ground to the perky flowers up top – and while the seeds commonly known as ‘wishes’ may not technically be medicinal (not that I know of at least), they are known to induce smiling and laughter, which in my opinion, is medicine in itself. The root has an affinity for the liver, the leaf for the kidneys, and the flowers for the lymph.

For this recipe, we use Dandelion greens, and while we may not be harnessing the potassium-sparing diuretic properties of the leaves as effectively as we could with a simple infusion, we can certainly benefit from the rich nutrient profile they carry.
Dandelion leaves are rich in a wide range of minerals and vitamins, with the most abundant being: potassium, calcium, folate, iron, manganese, magnesium, Vitamins A, C, K, B6 and 12, riboflavin and choline.

These dark green leaves are also infamous for their bitter taste, which is medicinal in itself, since it stimulates the vagus nerve, and subsequently triggers a cascade effect that readies our gastrointestinal tract for digestive action.

Below, you will find a recipe that moderates the bitterness of the Dandelion greens and hopefully can help you incorporate more Dandelion greens into your diet.

Dandy-Green Croquettes

By combining different flavors and ingredients with sweet undertones, we can counterbalance the bitterness of the Dandelion greens. I have made this recipe with spring greens, as well as later into the growing season. You can adjust it depending on your bitterness tolerance. If you like less bitter (also for kids), I add more of the balsamic roasted carrot/sweet potato, and I decrease it when I want more of the bitter taste. The almond meal also helps to reduce the bitterness.
Pick your Dandelion greens in a natural area and make sure to garble (clean on the spot by removing excess dirt and unwanted plant material, such as dead leaves and pieces of grass you may have inadvertently picked with the dandelion greens). We also want to make sure to properly wash them, as they can often be quite sandy/dirty, and this will add an unpleasant grit to our food.

  • 2 cups cooked Dandelion greens – you will need to start with a large handful of raw greens
  • 1 large onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup roasted almond meal – I prefer to roast the almonds myself and grind them in a food processor, but you can also purchase almond meal
  • ½ cup flour (you can use wheat flour, rye flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour - millet flour is the sweetest of these
  • 1 ¼ cups balsamic roasted carrot mash -diced carrots generously drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a dollop of coconut oil, salt and pepper to taste – roast until tender. Depending on how much bitterness you like, you can play around with how much carrot mash you add. The more you add, the less bitter the taste. You can also do this with balsamic roasted sweet potatoes.
  • Optional: ½ - 1 cup grated cheese of your choice – fresh ripened cheese is my favorite in this recipe

  1. Chop up the onion, crush your garlic and sauté with a ¼ tsp of your favorite oil over medium heat
  2. Chop the dandelion leaves into ¼ - ½ inch pieces
  3. Once the onions are translucent add the dandelion greens and continue to sauté
  4. Cook and stir, until the dandelion greens have wilted and are looking cooked, but before they start losing their green color
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool
  6. Combine Dandelion greens sauté, almond meal, flour, and the balsamic roasted carrot or sweet potato mash (and cheese, if using). Mix well.
  7. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat.
  8. Measure out ¼ cup of the mixture and shape into a patty. Repeat this step until you have turned all of the mix into patties.
  9. Sear the patties on the skillet, until you achieve a light brown crisp.
  10. Flip and repeat.
  11. Remove from heat and allow to cool, or enjoy warm.
  12. These hold well, you can store them in the fridge to enjoy a few days later. You can also freeze them, and thaw them by putting them straight in the oven (reheat at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly warmed.).
  13. Enjoy! 
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.