A Bouquet of Flower Recipes: Easy Potato Salad with Vetch, Day Lily Frittata, and Petal Salad
In last week’s post, Stop and eat the roses: Cooking with edible flowers, I learned why flowers are good to eat, which ones we can munch on, and common ways to cook them. Here’s a recap:
Why: They’re packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and can even help with allergies.
What: Day Lily flowers, borage, vetch, elderflower blossoms, pansies, violas, nasturtium flowers.
Cooking: Battering and frying, salads, soups, with eggs; sprinkled on just about anything!
After arming myself with knowledge, I’ve been experimenting this past week with identifying and using flowers in my cooking. Some of my findings:
I prefer to eat most flowers raw. You can really smell and taste them, and their gorgeous colors stay intact.
Each flower has a distinct taste – sweet, bitter, grassy, honeyed. Taking the time to figure these out is really fun.
Forage in the garden bed! The flowers of any herb are delicious – I especially enjoy cilantro and mint flowers.
Flowers fade fast. Try to pick your blossoms right before you’ll use them. If that’s not possible, be sure to store them in water in a vase.
After a little of my own experimentation, I’m happy to share these recipes that utilize some of the most common North Country flowers. Summer and flowers are fleeting, so seize the moment and bring some extra nutrition and color to your meals!
Easy Potato Salad with Hairy Vetch Flowers
This potato salad is easy because it has the sumptuousness of homemade mayonnaise without the homemade mayonnaise. The secret is two raw egg yolks added to half the potatoes mashed. Be generous with the salt and olive oil! This is potato salad, after all.
- 10 medium sized potatoes
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup savory pickles, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup scallions or garlic scapes, finely chopped
- Handful of vetch flowers
- Halve the potatoes and cover them with cold water in a large pot. Bring to a boil uncovered, and then turn down the heat and allow to simmer until cooked through (when a knife easily slips in an out of a potato), about 7-10 minutes.
- Drain potatoes. Take half of them and cut into smaller pieces, adding to a large bowl. Grate or run the remaining potatoes through a food mill, so that the potatoes are broken up and fluffy.
- Add the egg yolks, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and pepper to the fluffy potatoes, and mix until everything is incorporated.
- Add the fluffy potatoes to the plain potatoes along with the pickles and scallions/garlic scapes. Gently mix until incorporated. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice as needed.
- Sprinkle the vetch flowers on top and enjoy!
Summer Day Lily Frittata
This is a really gorgeous dish, definitely something to make and enjoy with friends! You can use any summer vegetables, I’m just a fan of beet greens and zucchini. Cook vegetables, add eggs, top with flowers, cook. I love the pattern the day lilies give to the top of the frittata!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- Bunch of beet greens or swiss chard
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
- 12 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4-6 Day Lily flowers, center pollen removed
- Sunflower petals
- Elderflower blossoms for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the oil in a large cast iron skillet.
- Separate the beet stems from the leaves. Finely chop the stems, roughly chop the greens.
- Add the beet stems and garlic to the hot oil and cook on medium temperature for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the beet greens and zucchini, and cook for another 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
- Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables. Arrange the Day Lily flowers and sunflower petals on top. The day lilies may stick out a bit – try to gently push them down, but down worry too much, as they’ll “melt” into the frittata.
- Put into the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the egg is set but still soft.
- Remove and garnish with elderflower blossoms.
- Allow to cool, then eat!
Bloom and Summer Pea Salad
I have to confess, this is probably my favorite recipe, even though it’s definitely the simplest! It just tastes so fresh, and the petals really come through taste-wise. It’s also a showstopper. This is the least precise recipe, because it is really just guidelines to your own creation.
For the Salad:
- Fresh salad greens
- Freshly shelled sweet peas
- Edible Flowers (vetch, marigolds, violas, red clover, sunflower petals)
For the Dressing:
- 2 parts olive oil
- 1 part apple cider vinegar
- 1 dash of honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- chive, mint, and cilantro flowers, petals stripped
- fresh herbs like basil and mint
- fresh scallions, garlic, onions, or shallots
- Toss the salad greens, peas, and petals in a bowl.
- In a jar, mix all the dressing ingredients together.
- Serve yourself some salad, and drizzle generously with dressing. Devour!
Tags: edible flowers, how to cook with flowers, north country cooking, upstate new york