Rafed English

Sauteed Dandelion (Elet)

Dandelion? Yes, dandelion. If you grew up as a child in America, chances are you picked dandelions, blew the seeds off and made a wish (I did). But once upon a time, many Arab women harvested wild dandelions in spring, and took it home to make this recipe.




2 L (8 cups) chopped dandelion leaves and stems
125 mL (1/2 cup) olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
125 mL (1/2 cup) tahina (sesame seed paste)
75 mL (1/3 cup) lemon juice
10 mL (2 tsp) salt
75 mL (1/3 cup) water




Remove the brownish head part of the dandelion, chop leaves and stems into thumb-long pieces or smaller. Immerse in a tub of water and wash repeatedly. Place in a large pot, cover halfway with boiling water and put over high heat. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, turn over once or twice, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. (The cooking is necessary to soften and to remove bitter taste.) Drain in a colander until completely cooled down. Pick up in handfuls and squeeze tight to rid of moisture. Transfer to a large bowl. Mash slightly between your fingers.


Pour oil into a heavy frypan and place over medium high heat. Fry onions until golden brown. Pour over dandelions.


Pour tahina into a small bowl, add lemon juice and salt and stir. Gradually add the water, stirring constantly. Pour over dandelions and mix well.


Best eaten at room temperature. Ideal for sandwiches in pita (Arabic bread).


Makes 4 servings


Keeps for 2 - 3 days in the refrigerator.


Endive may be used instead of dandelion in this recipe.



Say Bismillah and eat!

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