A delicious variation on the marinated burdock roots that are popular in Japan. These are exceptionally tasty and make a lovely wild antipasti. Dig up your roots in the autumn and spring. First year roots are always less woody but this is less of an issue with dandelion than it is with burdock!
- 12 dandelion roots Taraxacum officinale
- 50 ml rice or white wine vinegar
- 50 ml miso or stock
- 2 tablespoons medium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Nettle seed (or sesame seed)
- Scrub the dandelion roots to remove any dirt. Scrape off any stubborn dirt. Halve the roots and soak in water for 3 minutes.
- Boil in a pan with water for 5 minutes, while you make the marinade, until just tender but still crisp.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the nettle seed) to a small saucepan and heat to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring to the boil. Then on boil, remove from the heat.
- Remove the dandelion roots from the heat after 5 minutes. Strain.
- Put them onto a chopping board (some people also put them inside a plastic bag) and pound them with wooden rolling pin so that the roots soften. The object is to soften and flatten them, not to mash them!
- Put the bashed roots into a bowl and cover with the marinade for at least half a day or, ideally, overnight.
- Turn them occasionally to ensure the marinade covers them all.
- Serve cold as an antipasti, sprinkled with dry toasted nettle or sesame seed.