Honey Mustard with Dandelion Petals

Recently I heard a rumor that eating raw, local honey is an effective, natural immunotherapy against allergies because it contains processed pollens from your backyard, the same pollens to which you’re allergic. To the best of my knowledge, there haven’t been any formal studies on this subject but I tried it with limited success last year and this year I’m taking it one step further: Foraging!

I have found that every year, like most red-blooded Americans, I casually mow down a free and wonderful fount of nutrition and flavor; my backyard. In my ¼ acre lawn I have found wild carrots, several varieties of chicory, lettuce, and mustard, and of course dandelions. This year I intend to mow every other week and to harvest salad greens and flowers before I do.

Dandelions are great in salads, I make a wonderfully simple dandelion-cello (simply replace dandelion petals with lemon peels and follow any online limoncello recipe), a whole range of jellies and chutneys and, now mustard.

Homemade mustard couldn’t be easier. First choose your seeds. Dark or black mustard seeds produce a spicy, bitter product and, as you might expect, the lighter seeds produce a milder condiment. For those who have a lot of spare time and like a super punchy mustard, wait ’till later in the season and collect wild mustard seeds. Those will really put hair on your chest!

Second, simply cover them in a glass jar with equal parts of your favorite beer or wine and leave them out for 2-3 days. Make sure you only fill your jar a little more than halfway because the mustard seeds will swell quite a bit. The next day you’ll notice that the seeds have soaked up most of the liquid. This mustard base is now ready to be flavored and ground to your desired texture.

Hot Pepper Mustard

Uncle Jims Hot Pepper Mustard

For dandelion and honey mustard I start with a yellow seed and white wine mustard base. I pick and thoroughly clean a handful of wide-open dandelion blossoms and carefully remove the fragrant pistils and petals from the bitter base. For every cup of mustard base I add a teaspoon of salt and a tablespooneach of fresh honey and dandelion petals. You can add a little turmeric to augment the yellow color if
you like. As this will be a bright yellow mustard I like to blend it as smooth as my food processor will get it. I keep an eye on the mixture in the blender and add more of my white wine and vinegar mix as needed. Taste it as you go. It will be pretty lively and spicy, but after a couple weeks in your fridge it will mellow out a bit. Personally I like a good, sharp mustard so I eat mine as quickly as possible!  This mustard is awesome and will probably be gone within a week but will last up to 6 months if you  forget about it.

Enjoy this lively, savory-sweet condiment with cheeses, prepared meats, in salad dressings, or any other place you’d usually put mustard.

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