because what is life without good food?

Posts tagged “Edible Flowers

White Chocolate Rose Petal Scones

with a sweet rosewater glaze

White Chocolate Rose Petal Scones

I have been planning/dreaming of making these scones since June, when my friend Melissa posted her Rose Butter Tea Sandwiches. I saw the rose petal sugar she used on her pretty little tea sandwiches and thought: hey I could use that in SCONES!

So, when my most fragrant rose bush was covered with roses, I gathered some and made some rose sugar and set it in my cupboard to wait for a week. A week went by, and then a month, and then another. I told my daughter I was planning to make her rose scones and her face lit up. But life got crazy and the summer got SO hot and there never seemed to be a good time to bake rose petal scones.

Now it’s fall, the temperatures are dropping and my thoughts are turning to baking again. I woke up this morning, looked at the clock and decided today is the day I’m going to make those rose petal scones.

These scones have a soft, gentle rose flavor. It’s just a light hint of rose, like a passing floral scent on a breeze.

White Chocolate Rose Petal Scones

White Chocolate Rose Petal Scones

Inspired by Melissa at ChinDeep, who makes the most beautiful things with edible flowers. Plan ahead if you want to make these because it takes a week to make the rose petal sugar.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup rose petal sugar (recipe below)
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into little pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vanilla low fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon culinary rosewater (my recipe for rosewater is here)
  • about 3/4 cup good quality white chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
  • Rosewater glaze (recipe below) and fresh clean organic rose petals (if desired, for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl combine flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the rose petal sugar, crushing any lumps with your fingers.
  3. Add the little pieces of butter and work it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the butter chunks are all broken down and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. (I use my fingers–it’s messy, but fun!)
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg, yogurt and extracts. Mix until just blended (dough will be soft and wet).
  5. Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly 3-4 times. Pat or roll the dough into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into wedges and place on your prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Bake scones for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Drizzle with rosewater glaze and let the glaze set. At serving time, garnish with fresh organic roses or rose petals (if you like).

White Chocolate Rose Petal Scones

Sweet Rosewater Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons culinary rosewater

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the powdered sugar with the rosewater till smooth.

Rose Petal Sugar

Recipe from ChinDeep

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups very fragrant, unsprayed rose petals, washed and dryed completely

In a food processor or handi chopper, pulse the sugar and rose petals until the rose petals are tiny little confetti-like pieces. Put the sugar in a covered jar and wait for a week before you use it.

This post is an Eating the Alphabet post.

Eating the Alphabet Challenge

This month we’re cooking things that begin with the letters P, Q or R. R is for ROSES!

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Click here to see the other great Eating the Alphabet Challenge recipes this month …

This recipe was also shared at Scrumptious Sunday, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Thursday’s Treasures, Full Plate Thursday and All my Bloggy Friends.


White Wine & Red Roses Sangria

White Wine and Red Roses Sangria

This is a white wine sangria with red rose petal-infused vodka and a tumble of wonderful fruits. It’s romantic and beautiful and tastes so wonderful that it’s a little dangerous. Please be careful not to drink too much of this if you’re driving … it’s probably best just to get a designated driver if you’re going to drink this, or stay home. I had a hard time keeping myself from drinking the whole pitcher myself …

My sister and her husband came for a visit this weekend and they left early this morning. I felt a little sad when they left, wished we could have made the visit longer somehow, but we both need to get back to our lives. I wish I had had time to make her some of this sangria too, but really we ran out of time.

White Wine & Red Roses Sangria

  • 1 bottle of white wine (I used Riesling)
  • 1/4 cup orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup rose petal vodka (you can buy it, but if you have organic roses, it’s easy to make … here’s my recipe)
  • 2 Tablespoons very berry syrup (recipe here)
  • 1/2 of an orange
  • 1 lime
  • 2 plums
  • 3 strawberries (or more if you have them … I just had a few left so I tossed them in)

Put some of the fruit in a pitcher and muddle it around a bit to release the flavors. Add the rest of the fruit, the wine, and the liqueurs. Set the pitcher in the fridge to “steep” for at least a couple hours, then enjoy over ice. You can top it with a little club soda when you serve it to add some sparkle if you like. I didn’t this time and was perfectly pleased with it just like this.

White Wine & Red Roses Sangria

This recipe was shared at Serendipity & SpiceScrumptious SundaysFamily Fresh MealsWeekend Potluck, and Tastetastic Thursday.


Egg on a Salad with Sundried Tomato Ranch

Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion, Hosta Flowers & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

Let’s re-define the idea of egg salad, shall we? I mean, who decided that “egg salad” should be a bunch of chopped hardboiled eggs with mayonnaise on bread? Excuse me, but how is that a salad? I don’t mean to knock the traditional egg salad sandwich … there’s a comforting charm in a well-made egg salad sandwich, but I have to tell you, when I think salad, I think greens. To me, a salad really needs greens before it deserves to be called a salad.

Yesterday I redefined the whole concept of “egg salad” in my mind. I put a fried egg on my salad. Really, it’s nothing new, but it’s new to me … it’s been done before … I’ve seen it, but the idea of putting a fried egg on a salad sounded completely crazy to me. A fried egg? on a REAL salad? With greens? Seriously?

Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion, Hosta Flowers & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

It sounded so completely weird to me until I made this sundried tomato ranch dressing. And my friend Melissa said to me: it would be great on eggs. Oh. my. gosh. YES! A fried egg, over easy, with that beautiful bright yellow messy, runny yolk … and toast … and crunchy green salad … oh let’s toss on some avocado too … oh yes! It’s brilliant! I could eat this forever … I made it again today. It’s like the quickest meal ever. And it’s SOooooo goood!

It is the sundried tomato ranch dressing that makes this brilliant. Without it, it’s just eggs oozing all over my greens and yeah not really that exciting at all … but add that dressing and some crunchy toast and I’m happy as a clam.

(Are clams really happy? I sure hope so, cuz otherwise it would make NO sense to say “happy as a clam” … then again, we don’t really know that they are happy, so why do we say that?)

Whatever. This egg salad made me happy. Like giggly from my toes to my nose kinda happy. I will never, ever, think of egg salad the same way again.

Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion, Hosta Flowers & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

I got so excited talking about the salad I forgot to tell you about the flowers! They are hosta flowers … the flowers of hostas, like hosta leaves, are edible. You probably have some growing in your yard. They taste like salad. And they are insanely beautiful, on or off a salad.

  • Mixed spring greens with spinach (or whatever greens you’d like to use …)
  • Green bell pepper, chopped
  • Sweet onion, sliced and chopped
  • Avocado, sliced and/or cut into chunks
  • Organic hosta flowers (or other edible organic flowers … totally optional but they look pretty! make sure yours aren’t sprayed with nasty lawn chemicals before eating, though)
  • Eggs, 1 for each salad
  • Thin slices of french bread or baguette, toasted
  • Sundried tomato ranch salad dressing (recipe here)

Directions:

  1. First mix up the dressing and set it aside.
  2. Make a good bed of greens in your salad bowl and tuck in some onion, avocado, and bell pepper. Add a few flowers if you like, around the edge, leaving a good space in the center for the egg.
  3. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and heat to medium heat. Crack a fresh egg into the pan and season with Red Robin Seasoning (or salt) and freshly ground pepper. Cook it sunny side up or over easy, whatever you prefer.
  4. Toast the bread while the egg is cooking, then spread the ranch dressing on the bread slices.
  5. When the egg is done to your liking, set it gently on top of the salad. Top with the ranch (or serve on the side), and serve with the toast.

Fried Egg on a Salad with Avocado, Sweet Onion & Sundried Tomato Ranch Dressing

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic ThursdayFit & Fabulous FridayFoodie Friends FridaySummer Salad Sunday and Manic Monday.


Making Rose Petal Vodka (or Rosewater)

Rose Petal Vodka

If you happen to have a rose bush that produces tons of flowers (or an organic florist), you can make this easy rose vodka with them. You’ll need at least a dozen big-sized roses that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides for at least a couple years. My house came with three big rose bushes in the front: two pink ones and a red one. The red one is my favorite, but together they bring so much color and joy to my front door.

It was my friend Melissa at ChinDeep that got me started on the idea of doing something besides looking at my roses. She makes wonderful things like rose butter tea sandwiches and rose petal ice. I tried rosewater first which was insanely simple, so I thought it can’t be too hard to make rose vodka either.

Whether you want to make rosewater or rose vodka, first you need some roses. Pick them and wash them to make sure they are free of bugs.

Roses for Rose Petal Vodka

Then pluck off the petals, removing the white part at the base of the petal (that I hear can be kind of bitter). Put them in a quart jar. Keep packing rose petals into the jar till the jar is packed full of rose petals, then pour vodka over the rose petals, covering them completely. If any stray petals are sticking up out of the liquid, push them back into the vodka.

Rose Petal Vodka

Set the jar in a dark place and let it sit for at least 10 days. Shake the jar every few days. You’ll notice the color from the rose petals will fade into the liquid over time.

Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth with a bowl underneath to remove the rose petals and funnel the liquid into a bottle. Once it’s strained it’s ready for making insanely romantic drinks like Vanilla Rose Vodka Iced Tea.

To make culinary rosewater:

Follow the same process to fill a quart jar with rose petals, but instead of pouring vodka over the petals, pour boiling water over them to cover. Let the roses sit and steep in the water at room temperature for 24 hours, then strain through a cheesecloth. Keep in a covered bottle in the fridge. I like making watermelon slushies with rosewater. They make my daughter happy because she loves roses.

This recipe was shared at Scrumptious Sundays, Tip JunkieWeekend Potluck and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.


Vanilla Rose Vodka Iced Tea

Vanilla Rose Vodka Iced Tea

Hey, it’s Friday! Time for a cocktail … I’m using my roses and rosemary to make a beautiful cold beverage to cool me down on this hot summer night. And there is so much to celebrate! So many of my foodie friends are reaching 3k and 5k milestones and my page is up to 8,000 plus … wow. I’m so grateful and blessed and happy. Thank you. We had a garden party to celebrate … if you want to see all the wonderful things my friends brought, go visit the Pinterest board.

Vanilla Rose Vodka Iced Tea

You can buy the rose vodka or if you have a good organic rosebush, it’s quite easy to make! (Rose vodka recipe is here.)

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened fruity iced tea (I made up some Lipton Peach Passion Tea using one of their iced tea bags and a quart of hot water)
  • 2 Tablespoons rose vodka
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary syrup (recipe below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • Club soda to top
  • Garnish: Organic rose or other edible flower petals, frozen into the ice cubes + a sprig of fresh rosemary

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes (for extra effect, freeze rose petals in the ice cubes). Add the tea, rose vodka, rosemary syrup and vanilla and stir to mix the flavors, then top with club soda and garnish with a sprig of rosemary (or better yet, a rose!) … and enjoy :)

Vanilla Rose Vodka Iced Tea

Rosemary syrup

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar (to reduce calories, substitute stevia for part of the sugar)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rosemary leaves (I just cut a bunch of twigs from my little rosemary plant … I didn’t measure them, and I didn’t bother to take them off the stalks either … they are going to get strained out in the end, after all)

In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and water for the rosemary syrup and heat to boiling, stirring till the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add the rosemary. Let the rosemary sit and steep for at least 15 minutes, then strain out the rosemary. Store in a covered bottle in the fridge.

This recipe was shared at Scrumptious SundaysWeekend Potluck, Manic MondayTotally Tasty Tuesdays and Foodie Friends Friday.


Mulberry, Goat Cheese & Avocado Salad

on Mixed Greens with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Mulberry, Goat Cheese & Avocado Salad with Pinons & Goat Cheese

Hey guess what?  I’m guest posting on Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen today … it’s a yummy salad I made with my mulberries.

Mulberry, Goat Cheese & Avocado Salad on Mixed Greens with Pine Nuts & a Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Go on over to Carrie’s blog and check it out!

Mulberry, Goat Cheese & Avocado Salad on Mixed Greens with Pine Nuts & a Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridaysFoodie Friends Friday, EveryDay Mom’s Meals and Summer Salad Sunday.


Walnut Date Nasturtium Salad

with Gorgonzola cheese, sweet onions and a Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

Walnut Date Nasturtium Salad with Sweet Onions and Gorgonzola Cheese

I am totally enthralled with edible flowers … so I planted some nasturtiums this year. I soaked the seeds overnight, planted them, watered them, waited. And waited. Watered some more. Waited. Weeks passed and none of them grew. I was so disappointed … but I took the pots and planted other things.

And then one day I noticed something growing in with my celery plant. It didn’t look like a weed to me so I let it grow … and grow … and it produced a flower. A brilliant red flower.  There was a little tickle of recognition in the back of my mind, but I had never seen a red nasturtium before so I couldn’t quite figure out what this gorgeous flower was. I took a picture of it and posted it on facebook and asked my friends what it was. I was almost embarrassed when my friends pointed out to me that it was a nasturtium. Silly me! So one of my little seedlings DID grow … she just took her time doing it.

My Surprise Nasturtium

My daughter asked if we were going to eat it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat this lone pretty flower. I let it stay there on the plant. However, my sweet little plant heard my silent wish and made me more flowers. A bunch of them. Enough for a salad. I didn’t act quick enough and the heat killed several of them off, but still I collected enough for one salad. Maybe she’ll make me some more again? I’ll be happy either way. I’m so glad this little plant graced my life with her beauty. Her flowers tasted pretty good too. Slightly peppery, but mildly flavored. The leaves are little more peppery. I only used a few leaves; my sweet plant is just a little one and I want to let her grow. The flowers turned more orange over time.

Walnut Date Nasturtium Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese and Sweet Onions

Walnut Date Nasturtium Salad

  • Mixed greens
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Pitted Dates, sliced
  • Crumbles of Gorgonzola cheese
  • Sweet onion, sliced thin and quartered
  • Several nasturtiums (and toss in a few of the leaves too … why not!)
Fill your salad bowl 3/4 full of greens. Toss on some walnuts, sliced dates, crumbles of gorgonzola, and sliced onion. Tuck in Nasturtium flowers (the whole flower or just the petals, either way … I kept one whole and tossed the petals from the not-as-pretty flowers in there). Drizzle with the honey lemon vinaigrette (recipe below) and serve.
Walnut Date Nasturtium Salad with Honey Lemon Ginger Vinaigrette

Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything except the olive oil together in a bowl till well mixed. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing in a small stream. Keep whisking until the olive oil is well mixed into the dressing. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container. Before use, take it out of the fridge for a few minutes to let the olive oil “melt” again (it will solidify in the fridge) and shake well.

This recipe was shared at Weekend PotluckManic MondaysKatherine Martinelli’s Nut Bloghop and Melt in your Mouth Mondays.


Watermelon Rosewater Slushies

Watermelon Rosewater Slushies

There is something insanely romantic about roses. When my roses started blooming this year, don’t ask me why, but I desparately wanted to make some rosewater. I had no reason why I was doing it or what I was going to do with it, but I wanted to make it. So I did. The jar of rosewater has been just sitting in my fridge, waiting for me to find something to do with it … I could easily drink it in an hour, but it seems too special to just drink like water.

And then today it was so hot and windy … my daughter and I went out on a short shopping expedition and when we came back, we were both all hot and thirsty. I opened up the freezer to look for some food for my son and there right on the top was a bunch of frozen watermelon cubes.

I wasn’t really sure what I was doing; I just started doing it. I knew both my daughter and I needed some serious hydration. Something to cool us off. I threw a bunch of the frozen watermelon cubes in the blender, added some rosewater and some water and started blending. It turned out lightly sweet, rose-scented, frothy and slushy, pink on the top, and bright red on the bottom. Refreshing, cool, inviting, and insanely romantic. What I really love about it is: you can taste the roses.

Watermelon Rosewater Slushie

Watermelon Rosewater Slushies

  • About 4 cups of watermelon cubes, frozen
  • 1 cup of culinary rosewater (recipe below)
  • Water, as needed (I used 1 1/2 cups, I think)
  • Honey or juice concentrate or a simple syrup made with rose petals or rosewater, to taste (I didn’t add any, but if you’re used to a sweeter drink or serving to children who want it sweeter, you might want to add some … my parched 13-year-old daughter said it was fine just like that, with no sweetener)

Put the watermelon cubes and rosewater in a blender. Add water as needed to make a slushie consistency that you can sip through a straw. Add sweetener if you like. I really don’t think it needs any; the watermelon and the roses both have such a lovely flavor, but make it to suit your own tastes. Garnish with a fresh organic rose, if you have one, or a slice of watermelon.

Watermelon Rosewater Slushie

How to make Culinary Rosewater

Cut fresh organic red roses and wash to remove any residue or bugs. Remove the petals and snip the white part at the bottom off of each petal. Fill a quart jar with the snipped rose petals, packing them in. I think I used about 18 big roses. Boil water and pour the boiling water over the roses, filling the jar. Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours, then strain out the rose petals. Store in the fridge in a sealed container.

To make a rose-scented simple syrup: mix 1 cup rosewater with 1 cup sugar. Add some rose petals (with white parts trimmed off) if you like. Bring to a boil, then cook for a few minutes and strain out the rose petals. Let cool before using. Use in beverages or anything that needs a little sweetening.

This recipe was shared at Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Makin’ you Crave Mondays, Totally Tasty TuesdaysSummer Drinks Potluck Party and Thursday’s Treasures.


A Forager’s Thai-style Peanut Chicken Stirfry

A Forager's Thai Peanut Chicken Stirfry

I have been fascinated with foraging since I was a little girl. My parents instilled this trait in me … I remember as a child, when we were driving along somewhere, my mother would sometimes suddenly exclaim that we needed to stop.  And my dad would stop the car. We would just stop and pick asparagus out of the ditch … or wherever it was she discovered it. I remember her stopping to pick wildflowers sometimes too. We also went mushroom hunting, which is the ultimate in foraging, and if you have never gone, find yourself a friend who hunts mushrooms and tag along with them sometime. Mushroom hunting is great fun … you just have to know what you are looking for.

Back then I think foraging in general was much safer. The sprays that are used in parks, lawns, and ditches these days (in the US) can be pretty toxic. So you need to be more careful where you forage … but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t forage. You can forage in your own yard, where you have control over what goes on your plants. And I totally think you should … I mean, what is better than free food that you picked fresh from the landscaping? (By the way, if the idea of foraging in your yard scares you, skip over to the recipe … I provided substitutes for the “foraged” parts of the meal.)

I used the word “landscaping” very intentionally there, because the foods I foraged for this dish are commonly used in landscaping in many yards in the city:  hostas and day lilies. I long suspected that hostas are edible … because my deer love them … and whatever my deer love to eat, I start wondering about … so I went searching about the internet and I discovered that I was right! Ha! In fact, hostas are a common food in Japan, called Urui or Yuki-urui. Thanks to Miss Modish, I know this now. The day lily discovery I made the other day and I will point you to my Stella de Oro salad post to learn more about them. Do NOT try to eat just any old lily from your yard. Some lilies are poisonous. Make sure you are eating a DAY lily. Google “eating day lilies” if you aren’t sure of the difference and do some reading before you start picking. Also if you have food allergies, I would suggest eating a small bit first to make sure you are not allergic.

Hostas and Day Lilies are Edible!

Notes on picking: for day lilies, pick the fresh buds, unopened pods and fresh (unwilted) flowers. It’s best to pick them fresh, right before you plan to eat them, but if you can’t eat them right away, put them in a plastic bag in your vegetable crisper. Day lilies only last a day, so if the flower looks “spent”, don’t bother trying to eat it. DO pick them off the plant, though, because the plant will produce more flowers that way. When picking hostas, choose the smaller, tender leaves in the center of the plant. The larger ones tend to be a little tough.

I had tried the day lilies raw and tasted the hosta leaves (yeah, they taste like a leaf), now it was time to discover how well they cook up … and it turns out they do cook up quite beautifully. Both of them. Together. With a little garlic and olive oil. Oh, and I threw in some carrots from my dad’s garden too. And just a splash of white wine.

What do they taste like? The day lily pods when cooked taste a bit like green beans. The flowers are slightly sweeter and more tender/wilty. The hostas taste sort of like spinach. (I tasted them after they were cooked and before I put the sauce on to get the “true” taste of the day lilies and hostas.)

Stir Frying Day Lilies & Hostas

A Forager’s Thai Peanut Chicken Stirfry

This was enough for little old me for a big, hearty lunch. Pick more for multiple people!

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Half of a very large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced and cut in half-moon shapes (or 1-2 regular sized carrots)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • A small mixing bowlful of small, tender hosta leaves, chopped (they cook down like spinach does, so you’ll want quite a lot) … if you don’t have hostas, substitute some spinach
  • Several handfuls of day lily pods and blossoms (see picture for amount … I’m not quite sure how many there were) … if you don’t have day lilies, substitute green beans
  • A splash of white wine
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, sliced or chopped
  • 2 -3 Tablespoons of Super Simple Thai Peanut Sauce (recipe here)
  • Hot cooked Basmati rice (to serve the lovely stirfry upon)
  • Chopped peanuts and cilantro for garnish, if desired (I had no cilantro and totally forgot about the peanuts … not that it NEEDS garnish because the dish is so beautiful already!)

Heat a frying pan to medium heat and add the olive oil, swirling around to coat the pan. Add the carrots, garlic, hosta leaves (or spinach), and day lilies (or green beans) and sautee for a few minutes. Throw in a splash of white wine and the chicken and cook until the carrots are crisp tender, the hosta leaves are wilted and the chicken is hot. Stir in the peanut sauce and served over the hot rice. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro leaves, if desired, or a fresh (uncooked) day lily flower would be a beautiful garnish.

Forager's Thai Peanut Chicken Stirfry

This recipe was shared at Weekend Potluck.


Stella de Oro Salad with Cucumber, Pecans & 2 Cheeses

and a Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

Stella de Oro Day Lily Salad wtih Cucumber, Pecans and 2 Cheeses

Today I outsmarted the deer in our back yard. I ate the day lilies. The deer usually eat them before I even get to see them. For years I didn’t know I even had day lilies because the deer ate the blossoms before I ever saw them.

About.com says Stella de Oro day lilies are deer resistant. They obviously never met the deer that live here! … but once I tasted these luscious flowers, now I understand why my deer eat them. They’re delicious! They have a lightly sweet taste and they are CRUNCHY! Most flower petals are so delicate and thin they have almost no texture, but these! These were like having orange crunchy greens in my salad.

I did check before I tasted them to make sure they aren’t poisonous. I found a lot of conflicting information about asiatic and oriental lilies, but day lilies are definitely edible. I even found some nutrition facts. Also, I don’t use any herbicides or pesticides anywhere in my yard. If you are going to go picking your day lilies for food, I would recommend that you never use any sort of sprays anywhere near them. I wouldn’t go picking the ones in the park or the neighbor’s house, either … you never know what they’ve been sprayed with.

The blossoms of these day lilies only last a day, so I recommend picking them just before you plan to eat them. I expect different kinds of day lilies probably taste different–I can only vouch for the taste of the Stella de Oro lilies in my back yard. Other parts of the day lily plant are edible too … people often fry up the “pods” (blossoms) before they open and the roots can be eaten too, although I didn’t try that. I don’t expect I will get that many of them before the deer discover what they’ve been missing.

Day Lilies in Salad

Stella de Oro Salad with Cucumber, Toasted Pecans & Two Cheeses

  • Mixed greens
  • Cucumber, sliced and cut into triangles
  • Red onion slices
  • Several freshly picked day lily blossoms
  • Thinly sliced Dubliner cheese (or Parmesan or Romano)
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Toasted pecans
  • Tequila Lime Vinaigrette dressing (find the recipe below)
Fill your bowl 3/4 of the way with mixed greens. Add cucumber and red onion slices, then arrange the day lilies. You can separate the petals from the blossoms if you like, or leave the flowers whole. They are easier to eat if you separate them, though. I did a little of both before I took the pics, then pulled them apart as I ate them. Top with shards of the Dubliner cheese and  sprinkle with goat cheese and pecans. Drizzle with tequila lime vinaigrette and enjoy! (Recipe for the dressing is at the end of of my Basil Watermelon Salad post)

Stella de Oro Salad with Cucumber, Pecans, and Dubliner and Goat Cheese

Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

(from Cooking Light Magazine)

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

  1. Toss all ingredients into a food processor and whir till blended. Or you can just whisk them all together in a bowl, but the food processor will chop up the cilantro really nicely. I used watermelon-infused tequila (made by soaking watermelon cubes in tequila for several  days). Cover and chill until ready to use.

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdaysl, Cast Party Wednesday, Best Healthy Salad Recipes, and Summer Salad Sundays.


Chive Flower, Mushroom, White Bean & Walnut Salad

Chive Flower, Mushroom, White Bean & Walnut Salad

My chives are growing like crazy right now and they’re in full bloom with big, beautiful purple flowers. They’ve taken over a big chunk of my raised bed already … Mom warned me that they would, but I’ve never had anything grow like that here . Perhaps it’s because the deer eat everything … except for the daffodils and the chives.

Their loss! I love them. Besides that they are gorgeous, I think chives taste marvelous. And chive flowers even moreso. While chives add sort of a subtle onion taste to a dish, chive flowers are more intense, little bursts of flavor.

And Dad gave me some beautiful fresh shelf mushrooms he found … I thought they’d go perfect with the chive flowers.

Chive flower, mushroom, white bean and walnut salad

Chive Flower, Mushroom, White Bean & Walnut Salad

  • Mixed greens
  • Cooked white beans
  • Fresh mushrooms, sliced or torn into chunks
  • Fresh cut “shards” of parmesan cheese (thinly cut slices)
  • Toasted walnuts
  • Chive flowers
  • Avocado ranch salad dressing (recipe here)

Fill your bowl most of the way with greens, then toss on some beans, fresh mushrooms, parmesan, and walnuts. Tuck in the chive flowers and drizzle with avocado ranch.

Before you eat the salad, make sure you take a moment to savor the beauty of these flowers. Then dive into the taste of them … You might want to pull them apart and scatter them all over your salad.

Chive flower, mushroom, white bean and walnut salad

This recipe was shared at  Tastetastic ThursdaysFit & Fabulous Fridays, Weekend Potluck, and Manic Mondays.


Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta & Pecans

Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta & Toasted Pecans

I was scrounging for lunch again yesterday … my body was so hungry for something good, delicious, healthy. My organic salad greens in the fridge were almost gone. There wasn’t much to be had in the fridge except some cut fruit and a bit of cheese.

But I ALWAYS have plenty of food in the freezer. AND I have a yard full of edibles! I went out and collected some wild violet and dandelion leaves, a bit of fresh basil, some Johnny Jump Ups (as my mom calls them … they are also known as Violas), cooked up a frozen chicken patty, toasted some pecans from the freezer and voila! I had a beautiful salad definitely worth jumping up for.

Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta & Toasted Pecans

Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta and Pecans

  • Greens (I used wild violet and dandelion greens)
  • Cooked chicken, cut into chunks (I used a breaded chicken patty, but grilled chicken or even rotisserie chicken would work too)
  • Orange, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • Toasted pecans
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • Viola flowers (Johnny Jump Ups … preferably from a source that isn’t sprayed with herbicides or pesticides)
  • Fresh basil leaves

Fill your bowl most of the way with greens. Tuck in the chicken, orange pieces, sprinkle with pecans and feta. Add the flowers and the basil and drizzle with a pleasing vinaigrette. I used my Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette, but I think the Tequila Lime Vinaigrette would be lovely on this salad too … I need to make some more of that beautiful dressing.

Jump Up Chicken Orange Salad with Feta & Toasted Pecans

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdaysFit & Fabulous FridaysFabulous FridayWeekend Potluck, Mom’s Everyday Meals and Mealtime Monday and Delicious Dish Tuesday.


Apricot Chicken Salad on Wild Greens

with Blue Cheese, Cinnamon Pecans, and a Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

It was a “make do with what you’ve got” kinda lunch day. I thought I would have a salad, but I didn’t have enough greens left to fill my bowl.

So I went scrounging in my yard for greens. My spinach is still too tiny to pick, so I came in with a bunch of dandelion greens and a couple flowers as well. I know, these common yellow flowers are not generally well loved. Most people don’t want them in their yard. But they do have a lot of health benefits, they cost nothing and they’re really quite tasty and beautiful. The only problem is the greens do tend to get bitter.

However, bitter greens in a salad are really lovely if you pair them with something sweet. So I went looking for something sweet. No berries left, but I did have some dried apricots and cinnamon pecans. I threw in some chopped chicken and tangy blue cheese and I had quite a nice, well rounded, tasty salad.

If you are averse to using dandelions in your salad, skip the dandelions and use different greens. Arugula mixed with some fresh spinach would be nice.

Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

Apricot Chicken Salad on Wild Greens with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

  • Mixed greens (I used spinach and dandelion greens)
  • Cooked chicken (leftover chicken or natural chicken nuggets), chopped … I think this salad would be incredible with some apricot-glazed chicken … as you can see, I used the chicken nuggets.
  • Blue cheese crumbles (just a few)
  • Fresh or Dried apricots, chopped
  • Cinnamon pecans (recipe here)
  • Snipped green onion
  • Dandelion flower petals (optional … only use these if you have a safe, chemical-free source of dandelions)

Fill your salad bowl most of the way with greens. Sprinkle the salad with chopped chicken, blue cheese crumbles, apricots, pecans, green onion and flower petals. Drizzle with Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette.

Honey Lemon Ginger White Wine Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything except the olive oil together in a bowl till well mixed. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the dressing in a small stream. Keep whisking until the olive oil is well mixed into the dressing. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container.

Wild Apricot Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic Thursdays and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad

with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

I don’t know why, but the past two days, all I have wanted to eat was this salad. I need to make some soup, but I don’t really care … all I want is this green salad with pink, juicy grapefruit chunks and toasted sweet walnuts and this luscious vinaigrette. I could drown myself in it …

The first time I made it, I didn’t have any greens, so I had to go foraging in my lawn and what little is growing in my garden so far. I added the petals from a couple chrysanthemums too … since I was picking things …

The mums were lovely, but I completely forgot them the second time around. Because this time I had a big tub of organic spinach I found at the grocery store, so I didn’t have to go outside picking anything. And because the second time my son joined in in “helping” me prepare the grapefruit and before I knew it, we’d gone through 3 grapefruit  and only one was left for my salad … because he pilfered all the rest … not that I mind … I love it when he revels in eating something healthy.

It reminded me of a different time and a different place when we used to have a grapefruit tree, so we would have “grapefruit festivals” … the kids and I would sit at the table and eat and eat and eat grapefruit to our heart’s content … and if we wanted more, we just ran out to the tree and picked a few more. This went on until we had each eaten 3 or 4 grapefruit. I’m not really sure how many we actually ate … it just seemed like the feasting went on and on and on. There was always a huge pile of rinds when we were done.

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad

  • Mixed greens or spinach
  • Grapefruit
  • Walnut pieces (just a couple tablespoons per serving)
  • Powdered sugar (maybe 1/3 cup?)
  • Cinnamon (not sure how much I used … 1/2 teaspoon? maybe more?)
  • Chrysanthemum petals (or fresh mint leaves … or you could just leave these out)
  • Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Directions:

  1. Peel the grapefruit and section it like you would an orange, then pull off all the membrane. If you have any difficulty doing this with your fingers, use a knife. Make sure you have extra grapefruit if you have any others around that like to “help”.
  2. Take the powdered sugar and mix it with some cinnamon (and maybe a bit of powdered ginger? of course this occurred to me AFTER we’ve eaten all the grapefruit in the house!), then dump your walnut pieces in. Use a colander or sifter to separate the nuts from the powdered sugar. Reserve the cinnamon sugar mixture for next time (or for powdering a dessert).
  3. Put the nuts on a cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees or until the nuts are brown on top.
  4. In the meantime, put a big bunch of greens in the salad bowl and hide the grapefruit sections amongst the greens.
  5. Sprinkle with the sweet toasted nuts and chrysanthemum petals (if you have them), then drizzle with a bit of the ginger grapefruit vinaigrette.

Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This makes a small amount, but you really don’t need much on the salad because it has a lot of flavor (but then, I’m a “light on the dressing” kind of person). If you want extra for future salads, double the recipe!

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ginger sugar (the sugar that falls from making candied ginger … or 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger)
  • 1 Tablespoon jam (I used mixed berry jam, but I think you could use whatever jam suits you)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fancy prepared mustard (I used garlic peppercorn mustard, but Dijon would also be fine.)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the oil until everything is well blended. In a thin stream, add the olive oil, whisking the dressing till the oil is incorporated into the dressing.

Store any extra salad dressing in the fridge … let warm slightly for just a few minutes at room temperature to warm the olive oil and shake well before using.

Grapefruit & Sweet Toasted Walnut Salad with Ginger Grapefruit Vinaigrette

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic ThursdaysThursday’s Treasures, Full Plate ThursdaysWeekend Potluck, and Meatless Mondays.


Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad

with Blue Cheese, Cinnamon Pecans and Mixed Berry Vinaigrette

Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

I’m fascinated with edible flowers right now …  last week I found a list of 42 edible flowers … and realized I had another edible flower literally on my front doorstep.

My mom brought me a mum from her garden. A confused mum. Chrysanthemums are supposed to flower in the fall, but this one was in full bloom already. Mom said just plant it and pull off the blossoms and it should bloom again in the fall. I didn’t have the heart to pull the blossoms off … it looked so pretty. So I left it in the crumpled metal bucket mom brought it in and set it on my doorstep.

And now I’m so glad I did. Because I LOVE the taste of these flowers! My daughter tasted them too and she loved the taste as well. Said they would be great in a salad. Which made me laugh because that is EXACTLY what I thought.

My white mum flower petals have a floral herb-y taste to them, with a hint of bitterness and slight peppery bite. (Mums come in a wide variety of colors and according to treehugger the flavors vary from peppery to pungent.) Which makes a perfect pairing for a berry salad.

Warnings: You should eat only the petals of chrysanthemum flowers.  Also, be careful to choose a flower plant that hasn’t been sprayed or treated with any strange chemicals (or better yet, grow your own!)

Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad

with Blue Cheese, Cinnamon Pecans & Mixed Berry Vinaigrette

  • Pecan pieces
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Mixed greens and/or fresh spinach leaves
  • Strawberries
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Chrysanthemum flowers that are free of pesticides and herbicides
  • Berry Vinaigrette (recipe here)

Mix some powdered sugar and cinnamon in a bowl till you have a good-tasting mix. Put the nuts in the powdered sugar and toss to coat them. Pour through a colander or sifter to separate the nuts from the powdered sugar mixture. Put the sugared nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for about 5 minutes. The sugar sorts of melts onto the toasted nuts.

Now it’s time to make the salad! Fill your plate or salad bowl mostly with greens, top with sliced strawberries, then a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles, then take your Chrysanthemum flowers and pull off the petals and sprinkle them all over the salad.  Sprinkle with the cinnamon pecans and drizzle with berry vinaigrette.

Strawberry Chrysanthemum Salad with Blue Cheese & Cinnamon Pecans

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This recipe was also shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdays and Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


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