ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Dandelion Leaf and Bacon Salad. Eat Your Weeds!

Updated on May 29, 2009

There is something satisfying about growing and eating your own food – and something very satisfying about eating salad leaves that grow wild across your lawn, and that you'd just have to weed out if you didn't eat them up!

I'm talking about dandelions here, of course. Those annoying summer flower-weeds that gossip through their very presence of our lawn maintenance ineptitude to those smug looking homeowners that spend an inordinate amount of time inspecting their lawns…and mine!

OK, that last bit is probably all in my imagination, but I have to confess a certain laisez faire attitude to lawn care, and that combined with my pesticide free approach to weed control leaves my yard a bountiful field for dandelion leaf harvesting!

Vitamin Packed, Bitter Tasting Greens

Dandelion leaves are a bitter lettuce like salad leaf. They are packed full of nutrients; a single cup of raw dandelion leaves has more than your daily requirements of Vitamin A, a load of vitamin C and a surprising amount of calcium - early North American even settlers wrote about eating the leaves as a spring antidote to a vitamin poor winter diet, knowing instinctively what their bodies needed, even if they couldn’t tell you the vitamin count as we can today.

How to Harvest

Dandelion leaves are bitter; endive-like bitter, and for some people, this is an acquired taste. The leaves of May and June are the least bitter and the most preferred, and the leaves increase in bitterness as the summer season progresses. Smaller leaves are much less bitter than larger leaves, and leaves on plants that have not yet flowered are much less bitter than on already flowering plants.

For best taste, get out in the mid to late spring to harvest leaves off young plants that have not yet sprouted flowers.

Dandelion Salad

I like dandelion leaves best as a part of a spring bacon salad. I mix dandelion leaves with a sweeter and milder tasting salad leaf, like Boston lettuce or romaine, to tame the bitterness slightly. Salty and smoky bacon dressings are a natural for strong leafy greens (think wilted spinach salad).

  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 2-3-4 Tbls of red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 cups of mild tasting lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup of freshly picked young dandelion leaves
  • ¼ cup of very thinly shaved Spanish or Vidalia onion
  • Salt
  • 1 Tsp of Dijon mustard


  1. Fry up the bacon and reserve on a plate for crumbling into the salad.
  2. There should be about ¼ cup of bacon fat in the pan – let the bacon fat cool a little bit and then add in 2-3 Tbls of red wine or balsamic vinegar, the Dijon mustard and a pinch of salt. Whisk it all together and taste for seasoning, adding more vinegar or salt as necessary.
  3. Mix together the lettuce and dandelion leaves, the shaved onion and the crumbled bacon with enough warm bacon fat vinaigrette to well coat all the leaves. Taste and add more salt if needed.

This is a lovely salad with a slightly bitter kick from the dandelion leaves. Try it; it's a lot of fun to eat your weeds!

Obviously, if you or even any of your neighbors spray pesticides or herbicides, you should not eat your poisoned lawn!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • frogyfish profile image


      9 years ago from Central United States of America

      A slight kick to the dandelion greens - right! My mother loved dandelions fixed that way, but I have not acquired the taste. Since dandelions are good for the liver, I occasionally pick a small inner leaf and munch it - not too bad! Enjoyable hub!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)