Edible Flowers...

So, on to some flower recipes.  This is so dang much fun!  Spring really calls for a

 But briefly… lets go over a few quick rules

1.              Eat flowers only when you are positive they are edible!  Meaning no roadside flowers that may have car exhaust – or flowers from yards where ANY pesticides have EVER been sprayed!  So no, don’t automatically trust those roses from the grocery store.  Know where your flowers come from.  You that are lucky enough to be able to grow your own…. Grow your own!

2.              Don’t eat the pistils and stamens, only the petals.

3.              Use that brain – if you aren’t sure the flower is edible…. DON’T EAT IT.

4.              The list of poisonous flowers is long, so rather than stress over it, let’s just look at some flowers you can always be sure of!

 

Calendula

 Calendula Coleslaw

 Ingredients

 2 cups apples (unpeeled and chopped)

2 tablespoons tangerine (peel, grated)

3 cups tangerine (peeled and segmented, seeded)

2 tablespoons green bell pepper (chopped)

5 cups cabbage (finely shredded)

12 calendula flowers (washed and dried)

1/3 cups sour cream

1/4 cups mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoons mustard

1/2 teaspoons celery seed

1/2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoons ground pepper

 

Directions

1.         Combine apple, tangerine peel, tangerine segments and chopped green pepper with cabbage in a large bowl.

2.         Remove petals from flowers and add petals to the salad.

3.         Blend together remaining ingredients and pour over coleslaw.

4.         Toss lightly to mix well.

5.         Chill thoroughly.

 

Daylily

Small caution – don’t confuse with tiger lilies or commercial lily varieties, some of which can be toxic.

 Daylily fritters

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 cup ice (cold hard apple cider, or bubbly drink of your choice such as beer or soda water)

3 cups grapeseed oil (for frying)

2 pounds daylily (fresh, buds)

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.  Add 1 cup cold apple cider and whisk, being careful not to over-mix.  A few lumps are ok rather than over-mixing.

 In a skillet, heat grapeseed oil over medium heat.  The oil should be just a little more than an inch deep and should be about 350-375 F.  Make sure the oil is hot enough because hot oil prevents your batter from absorbing too much oil as it fries

Take daylily buds by the stem and dip into the batter.  Work in small batches so you can monitor the frying.  Drop carefully so the oil doesn’t splash, fry for about 1 minute (until crisp and golden) then flip it over for another minute.  Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

 

Mint

Ok, basically the reason I grow mint

 Mojito


 

Ingredients

6 fresh mint

1/2 ounces simple syrup

1 ounce light rum (such as Bacardi)

1/2 ounces fresh lime juice  (don’t waste your time with anything bottled)

2 ounces club soda (or sparkling water, chilled)

mint leaves

lime wedges

Add mint and simple syrup to a heavy-bottomed glass and gently break up with a muddler or spoon. Add rum and lime juice. Fill glass with ice. Top with club soda; stir gently. Garnish with lime wedges and additional mint leaves.

Makes 1 cocktail

Tip: Simple syrup is 1 part granulated sugar dissolved in 1 part water.

 

Nasturtium

Nasturtium Risoto

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 leeks (halved lengthwise and thinly sliced, white and light-green parts only)

1 teaspoon garlic (finely chopped)

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cups white wine

coarse salt

3 cups bouillon (Nasturtium, heated)

3/4 cups butter (Nasturtium)

3/4 cups parmigiano reggiano cheese (grated)

pesto (Nasturtium, for garnish)

1 sprig chervil

nasturtium (flowers, petals, or buds, for garnish)

Directions

1.   In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until grains are opaque, start to sizzle, and stick together, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, until liquid is completely absorbed, about 30 seconds. Season with salt.

2.   Reduce heat to low and add enough bouillon to cover rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Add another 1/2 cup bouillon and continue cooking and stirring, until liquid has been absorbed. Continue cooking and adding bouillon, 1/2 cup at a time, until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes.

3.   Stir in butter and remove from heat. Fold in cheese and season with salt. Serve garnished with nasturtium pesto, chervil, and flowers.

 

Pansy

Orange, Herb and Edible Flower Salad

 Ingredients:

2 oranges, segments only a handful each of mint, oregano and parsley leaves
16–20 Kalamata olives
5 spring onions, sliced
a handful of edible flowers, try nasturtiums or pansies
2 tbsp olive oil
½lemon, juiced
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Directions

Combine the orange segments, herbs, olives and spring onions in a bowl.

Arrange on a plate, then scatter the flowers over. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, add the sesame seeds and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 

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Rose

Rose petal ice cream

Ingredients

·  rose petal, from 3 fragrant organic roses

·  1⁄2 cup milk 

·  3 1⁄2 cups heavy cream 

·  1 cup granulated sugar

·  6 egg yolks

·  1⁄4 cup rose water 

·  3 drops red food coloring (optional)

Directions

1.   Wash the rose petals in cold water and pat dry. In a heavy, non-reactive saucepan, place petals of 2 roses, milk, cream, and ½ cup of the sugar. Place over medium heat and heat to just under boiling. Let steep about a half hour to infuse.

2.   Combine the egg yolks and the remaining ½ cup of sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk until thick and pale yellow. Bring the rose/cream mixture back to a near boil and whisk ¼ of the warm mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then pour all of the egg mixture into the rose milk and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

3.   Strain into a bowl and chill on ice. Pour into the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer finished ice cream into bowl and add the torn petals from the remaining rose. Fold into ice cream and pack into freezing container.

 

Rose Petal Jelly

Rose jelly is sweet and floral, and is lovely on buttered bread. Make it with roses you know are  chemical free. You will need liquid pectin (to thicken the jelly) and rose water for flavor. These are available in most supermarkets.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups unsprayed pink rose petals, thicker tissue at base of petals removed
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 ounces liquid pectin
  • 1 tablespoon rose water

 

Directions

1.   Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan; remove from heat. Add petals; cover, and steep for 30 minutes. Strain liquid into clean saucepan. Discard petals.

2.   Add sugar and lemon juice to pan. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring, over medium-high heat. Boil 2 minutes; add pectin, and boil 2 minutes (for firmer jelly, boil up to 2 minutes more). Remove from heat, add rose water. Pour into sterilized jars, and let cool completely. Store in refrigerator up to 6 months.

 

Marigold

Summer Quiche

 

Ingredients

2 eggs

½ cup mayonnaise

1 TBL all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

½ tsp salt

1 cup Swiss cheese, finely grated

½ cup tomato, finely chopped

1 cup fresh corn kernels

2 TBL marigold petals, finely chopped (plus some for decoration)

1 unbaked 10 inch pie crust

 Directions

Preheat oven to 375.  Place a cookie sheet on the rack in the middle of the oven. 

Beat eggs well… mix in mayonnaise and flour.  Add milk and salt.  Continue to mix well.

Arrange the cheese, tomato, corn and marigold petals evenly in the pie shell.  Pour in egg mixture.

Place the quiche on the preheated cookie sheet in oven.  Bake 45 minutes or until firmly set.

When it has cooled ‘slightly’, decorate the top with remaining marigold petals.

 

OR… if you want to do something very cool with smaller individual versions, say… for a tea:

Dandelion & Calendula Breakfast Egg Cups (With Feta & Lovage)

(serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • Splash of cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced dandelion leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced wild mustard greens
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh lovage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of calendula petals
  • 1/4 of large onion or half of small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • tablespoon of olive oil

 

  • Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease cups of a muffin tin.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, and pepper until smooth.
  • Lightly saute your greens with olive oil, garlic and onion, add in the feta, give a stir.  Combine with eggs.
  • Fill your muffin cup with the mixture (about 3/4 full).
  • Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the cups are solid and slightly brown on top.
  • Let cool 10 minutes, and then remove from muffin tin. Eat warm if you can!

 

Squash Blossoms

Squash Blossom Frittata

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of red pepper flakes

6 large eggs, beaten

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

10 fresh basil leaves, torn

10 squash blossoms, gently cleaned

 Instructions

1.   Preheat oven to 350°F.

2.   Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and red pepper flakes and sauté until the onions are translucent.

3.   In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Stir in the basil leaves and pour into the skillet over the softened onions. Gently press the squash blossoms onto the top of the eggs. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the frittata comes out clean. Let cool slightly before cutting.

 

Bee Balm

Bee Balm pound cake

 

This is the easier yet.  Just add ½ cup chopped Monarda flowers to your next pound cake.  And don’t forget the decoration!

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Chrysanthemum

And dandelions!

 

Frittata

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh dandelions
  • 1 handful fresh chrysanthemum flowers
  • 1.8 oz parmesan cheese
  •  

Directions

1.   Peel and slice the potatoes and par boil them in salted water. Drain and leave to one side.

2.   Cut the dandelion flower as close to the head as possible and remove the stems and sepals. Roughly chop these and set to one side.

3.   Remove the chrysanthemum flower heads and immerse them into a bowl of clean, cold water and set aside.

4.   Finely chop the shallots and cook them gently in the oil in a frying pan until they are translucent.

5.   Add the potatoes and cook until they are lightly browned and then add the chopped dandelions. At this point put the grill on.

6.   Beat the eggs together and then pour them over the potatoes, shallots and dandelions, leave the underside to cook for a few minutes and then place the pan under the grill to set the egg on top.

7.   Sprinkle over the fresh chrysanthemum petals and then grate over some fresh parmesan.

8.   Serve immediately with fresh salad leaves which you could also pretty up with fresh pansies or violas as they are edible too!

 

 

Dandelion

Dandelion Soup

This soup is served at the Taste of History restaurant at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.

 

  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 4 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cups dandelion greens, chopped
  • 4 cups spinach, chopped (you could try dandelion greens!)
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 2 cups white beans, cooked
  • 1 cup potato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon blackk pepper 

 

Directions

1.   Saute the celery, carrot, onion, basil, oregano, cumin and garlic in the vegetable oil until tender. Add the stock, bay leaf, corn, beans and potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Hibiscus

Hibiscus-Flower Enchiladas !

Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita invented this unusual vegetarian entrée in part to support the indigenous people of Oaxaca, who grow and harvest hibiscus (known in Spanish as flor de Jamaica). "The recipe is very traditional," he says. "We just replace the meat with flowers." The flavor of hibiscus defines this surprising dish; meaty, tangy, and utterly irresistible.

 

Ingredients

1.   Filling:

o   1 cup dried hibiscus flowers

o   1/4 cup olive oil

o   1 large onion, thinly sliced

o   2 large carrots, grated

o   1/2 cup grated jicama

o   1/4 cup sugar

o   1/2 teaspoon ground dried oregano

o   1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

o   Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


2.   Chipotle sauce:

o   2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cored, halved

o   1/2 white onion, chopped

o   3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

o   2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo

o   2 tablespoons vegetable oil

o   3 large dried bay leaves

o   Kosher salt


3.   Assembly:

o   Vegetable oil

o   12 6" corn tortillas

o   1 cup sour cream

o   1 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage

o   1/2 cup Cotija cheese or feta, crumbled

 

o   Ingredient info: Dried hibiscus flowers, also called Jamaica flowers, are available at some natural foods stores and at Latin markets. 

 

Preparation

1.   Filling

Bring hibiscus flowers and 2 cups water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat; let steep until flowers are just tender, 5-8 minutes. Strain; reserve flowers. Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat; add onion and sauté until soft but not brown. Add reserved hibiscus flowers, carrots, and next 4 ingredients; cook, stirring often, until carrots are soft and liquid evaporates, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

2.   Chipotle Sauce

Combine the first 4 ingredients and 2 cups water in a pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes begin to fall apart, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender; purée until smooth. Wipe out pot; add oil and heat over medium-high heat. When oil begins to smoke, carefully add purée and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt.

3.   Assembly

Pour oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1/4"; heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches, submerge tortillas and cook, turning once, until they soften, 30-45 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Put 1/4 cup of filling in center of each tortilla; roll to enclose. Place 2 enchiladas on each plate. Smother with chipotle sauce and garnish with sour cream, cabbage, and Cotija cheese.

 

 Arent these gorgeous?!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

I guess I saved one of the best for last… that and I realized I have missed my yoga class two times this week because I’ve become obsessed with finding FLOWER FOOD.  But this next flower was such a gorgeous surprise…

 


Lilac   (surprised?  Me too!)

 

Lilac Blossom Almond Scones


3 cups flour, all-purpose

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

1 cup buttermilk, shaken well

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup toasted, chopped almonds

1 cup lilac flowers

 

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the ingredients together. Cut the chilled butter into small cubes and toss into the dry mixture. Using your fingers and hands, work the butter into the flour mixture, until pea-sized lumps of butter are present.

 

Add the buttermilk, vanilla extract, almonds, and lilac blossoms. Fold together in the bowl. Make sure to not over-work. Gather and roll the dough into a ball. Lightly flour the ball of dough and flatten it out, by hand, into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Cut the dough into triangles and place onto a greased baking sheet. Lightly dust with raw sugar. Grease the baking sheet with butter. Bake 12 to 16 minutes, until desired level of toastiness.

 

 

 


I realized I was going to stop doing ANYTHING unless I stopped this post here.  Of course I’m going to be constantly thinking of things to do with rose petals… among other things.

 

So I end with one of my favorite sayings:

 

                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012