Spring is coming...soon soon soon! Before long the grass will start greening and the leaves will start their slow open to the sun and those pesky little dandelions will be popping up all over the lawn. What to do? EAT THEM! Actually, you are going to drink them....
So first things first, you are going to need some dandelions. Yes I reallu said dandelion. As in the little yellow pesky flowers that your neighbor is trying to eradicate with an arsenal of chemicals. They are edible and the bitter can kind of tame the sweet of some dishes. I like to use the blooms in a hibiscus tea. The tea is sugared and the hibiscus has kind of a naturally sweet taste, so the undercurrent of slightly bitter dandelion works well.
The trick to the dandelions is to pick them when the little yellow flowers first appear. You want as much of the yellow flower, and as little of the white seed as possible. Grab the flower at the base and pull the yellow petals out. They will come apart as individual petals and separate completely when cooked.
Here she is brewing! I make a giant pot of tea, chill the batches in pitchers and then warm up individual cups for hot tea or just pour straight over ice for iced. Want the recipe? Here goes!
Dandelion & Hibiscus Tea
This recipe is based on personal taste. Taste as you go to get the right amount of sugar!
1-2 Cups of fresh Dandelions Start with 1 cup and then up it to two if you want more flavor.
(or start with 2 T of dried dandelion leaves and up it to add more bitterness to the brew depending on your tastes)
2-3 cups dried Hibiscus
1 cup of sugar
Fill an 8 qt stock pot with water Stop about 2-3 inches from the top
(I added 2 black tea bags as well for a bit of dark flavor, but omit them to skimp on caffeine)
Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring as you go a few times to keep ingredients from sticking to the pan. Once the water boils, reduce the heat until it is just barely simmering. Let it go until your house smells amazing (15 minutes or longer to brew a stronger tea).
Let the mixture cool, then strain all the solids out, squeezing the flowers to get all the flavor out. When cooled, pour into pitchers and chill.