Salad Greens & Edible Flowers

Salad with Edible Flowers

As we move into cooler weather I see our salad garden is a bit uneven. We have lots of greens for cooking, mesclun, racdiccio and arugula but sometimes I begin to crave a crunchy salad that’s packed with flavor and color. So I broke down and purchased some lovely local Romaine lettuce. The garden pantry contributed radiccio, which we cut at the soil line instead of pulling because the plants often produce a second head.
In spite of some near frosty nights we still have some of my favorite edible flowers. Nasturtiums add color, a wonderful fresh peppery bite and the anise hyssop echoes the tarragon with it’s own sweet anise flavor. Each anise hyssop flower head is actually dozens of tiny flowers that I stripped from the stem. Mild flavored calendula petals are twisted away from the head and sprinkled like confetti over the greens.

1 head Romaine lettuce
1 small head radicchio
1 rounded tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
(if fresh tarragon is unavailable use a small handful of parsley)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed

Edible Flower Mixture
Anise Hyssop

I gathered about one cup edible flowers not packed, this was about eight nasturtium blossoms, 2 flower heads of anise hyssop, and half a dozen calendula flowers. Always use flowers that are not sprayed with chemicals.

Rinse, dry and tear salad greens into bite size pieces. The tarragon leaves can remain whole. Mix dressing ingredients and toss with greens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the flowers over the salad greens, do not toss and serve. Serves 2-4.

3 Responses

  1. I love the salad idea. You might want to let your readers and those customers who live in freezing climates that Nasturtium seeds can be planted in the garden in the fall, (like lettuce, dill, and fennel) and will give the busy gardener a jump start for the next spring. I’ve been doing this for some years and always have a crop of nasturtiums in the following early summer. Also, nasturtium seeds can be ground and used like fresh ground pepper. Tastes great!

  2. I was inspired by the yeast crust recipe for the savory squash pie.

    I was grateful too for the tips on making vanilla extract (or tinture). What about almond or lemon extracts???

    Thanks, and have a great harvest.

    • Sorry for a late reply but it’s such a good question I’ll go ahead now. I think almond extract comes from eith bitter almonds or the interior of pits from other family members. There is always the possibility of toxicity so I’d leave them alone. Citrus however is fairly simply, simply pare the skin off clean and preferably organic fruti. You want to leave the white pith behind. Stuff these ribbons of rind into a bottle and fill with vodka. In a month or so you have dynamite lime, lemon, orang or grapefruit extract.

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