Dandelion and Bacon Salad

I have never grown out of my student thrill at finding free food. This salad is for early summer, when the dandelions are fresh and young.


  • large handful unopened dandelion flower buds
  • 1 bunch (about 2 large handfuls) young dandelion leaves
  • 4 rashers rindless smoked streaky bacon
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar (optional)
  • salt
  • black pepper


Wash the dandelion flowers and leaves and pat them dry between paper towels. Cut the bacon into small pieces, fry in a dry pan over a fairly high heat until crisp and then drain on paper towels. Toss the dandelion flowers in the bacon fat over a medium heat until the buds are just open, then drain on paper towels. Put the dandelion leaves in a salad bowl and mix in the fried bacon and flowers.

Put the oil, vinegar and sugar, if using, in a small screw-top jar and season with salt and pepper. Seal the jar and shake well, then add to the salad and toss lightly.