Wild Maryland Cookbook​

Butchering Information


DNR Cookbook

Spicy Dandelion Greens with Bacon

Dandelion Greens 

Submitted by George Jamar

Dandelion greens turn bitter and woody quite quickly, so very early spring is the best time to harvest them. To harvest and eat dandelions, try to clip the small leaves from the plant before the plant flowers.

Once the yellow flower has bloomed, taste the dandelion greens first to see if you find the flavor too off-putting. Harvest by picking off the small leaves and eating straight away. Be sure to wash dandelion greens well, and steer clear of picking them out of public lawns, where they may have been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides.



  1. In a large pot, or Dutch Oven, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, and add 1 Tbs. of kosher salt. Blanch greens for 2 minutes, removing from boiling water and submerging in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Place greens on a towel.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove bacon and lower the heat. Set bacon aside.
  3. Over medium high heat; add the shallots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and crushed red peppers, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the dandelion greens, bay leaves, and thyme, stirring them completely, and coating the greens in the bacon fat. Squeeze in ½ of a lemon, and a pinch of brown sugar, cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, about 12-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and discard; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Chop bacon and sprinkler on dish when served.
  7. ​​


This dish can be prepared a day in advance and reheated.

For an extra twist, toss in 1/2 lb. of grape tomatoes, halved, during the last 5 minutes of cook time.

For a healthier dish, omit the bacon and use 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil instead.


Find More Recipes


  • 6-8 slices hickory smoked bacon
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced (from root to tip)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs dandelion greens
  • 2 large, or 3 small bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • pinch brown sugar

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