As a Slovene, foraging is written in my DNA. We pick everything that’s edible. Mushrooms, chestnuts, asparagus, forest fruits, elderflower, wild garlic… you name it! Right now the whole nation is on high alert for dandelion greens, which we gather from countryside meadows from March to April (before the plant blooms) and then use to prepare dandelion salad – a massive hit in springtime! It’s so popular here I could easily say it’s one of our national dishes. If you’ve never tried dandelion leaves, they taste slightly bitter, but when combined with the right ingredients… delicious! Below is my family’s dandelion salad recipe.
Dandelion Salad Recipe Ingredients (for one person)
- 2 handfuls of dandelion greens (leaves)
- 2 potatoes
- 1 egg
- apple cider vinegar
- pumpkin seed oil or sunflower oil
- garlic (optional)
- bacon (optional)
Dandelion Salad Recipe Instructions
First, clean and wash dandelion greens, then cut them into small pieces. They’re stiffer than lettuce, so the smaller you cut them, the easier they’ll be to chew. In the meantime, boil an egg and cook the potatoes – peel them, cut them in thin slices, bring them to boil and let them cook for about 20-30 minutes, as usual. Once the potatoes are cooked, lightly mash them with a fork to get smaller chunks. Now add warm water, just enough to cover the potatoes.
Mix the potato mixture with dandelion greens and season it with salt, apple cider vinegar and pumpkin seed or sunflower oil. Pumpkin seed oil is traditional in Slovenia and definitely makes the salad taste ten times better, but if you live in a country where it’s harder to come by, sunflower oil will do the job just fine.
My last step is actually adding a sliced boiled egg on top (you can also mix it in), but some Slovenes would probably take my citizenship away if I didn’t mention garlic or bacon too. I personally don’t like the taste of raw garlic, so I never put it in my salads like a number of Slovenes do, but if you’re a fan, go for it! Cut it into tiny pieces and mix it in. Same with bacon. I don’t care about it, but feel free to fry it and add it on top!
For a video version of the recipe, watch the video below! I talk about unusual Slovenian dishes my foreign friends always freak out about.
For more Slovene recipes in English or German, check out the cookbook Cook Eat Slovenia (affiliate link). It’s full of standard traditional Slovene recipes, recipes for very specific regional dishes and even dishes that aren’t necessarily typically Slovene but us Slovenes eat on a day-to-day basis. Not to mention the beautiful imagery!