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Dandelion Buds

Learn how tasty little dandelion buds can be used as a replacement for capers and add a little flavor to your summer.

| August 2019

Photo by Stephanie Thurow

These little flavor bombs can be used as a replacement for capers. The bud of the dandelion is a small, green, unopened bud that is often found very close to the ground within the leafy area of the dandelion plant. They pinch off very easily if you give them a little twist while pulling.

Yield: 1 pint


  • 2 cups dandelion buds
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1/2 small onion (optional)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)


  • 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt dissolved in 1 cup water


  1. Harvest 2 cups of dandelion buds and soak them in cold water for a few minutes, stirring them around with your hand to remove any dirt or bugs that may have hitched a ride in. Rinse and repeat this process until the buds are clean and the water runs clear. Remove stems and discard any buds that are semi-open and showing yellow petals. You only want to ferment the tightly closed little green buds.
  2. Pack the buds, garlic, and optional ingredients into a prepared pint jar and cover with brine until the buds are completely submerged. Use a weight to hold the buds under the brine. Use a canning jar lid and ring to tightly close the jar to keep the air out. Store at room temperature, ideally between 60 and 75°F. Keep out of direct sunlight or wrap a dish towel around the jar to keep the sun out.
  3. Be sure to check on the ferment daily and burp it to release the carbon dioxide that is created during fermentation. This is a 5-day ferment. Once fermentation is complete, store in an airtight glass jar and refrigerate.

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