Monday, August 26, 2013

Week 9: All About Edible Flowers

I don't particularly like working in the garden when it is this hot and humid.

Fortunately, many of the hard working plants disagree with me.

These peppers like it hot.
So do these tomatoes.
I wonder what next week will bring...

This week's share will include: Cucumbers, Zucchini or Summer Squash, Kohlrabi or Broccoli or Mini Cabbage, Onions, Potatoes, Basil, Tomatoes etc, Endive or Radicchio, and a choice of Herbs or Edible Flowers.

I think a few members are wondering about the edible flowers. They're fun to try, but what should you actually do with them?

They're definitely more of a garnish than a meal, but there is a wide variety of ways to cook with flowers, and some are surprisingly tasty. 

For instance, a few months ago, we sprinkled salt, pepper, sliced scallions, and calendula petals on some pork chops before we grilled them.

And I swear the calendula made it taste like we'd grilled them with
fresh pineapple slices.
Notice that I said petals. Flowers vary quite a bit in taste, from resinous calendula to spicy dianthus and mild borage, but most of the sepals (aka "green bits") taste the same - icky.

So pull the petals off and leave the sepals behind.

Eat this.
Not that.
If you would like more ideas, check here: edible flower recipes.

Or you can try the following very simple recipe:

Flower "Jello"

These quantities make a very stiff "finger jello" type dessert. For a softer consistancy, use as little as half an ounce of gelatin.
  • 4 cups apple juice, separated. Or use half juice and half water.
  • 1 ounce dry powdered gelatin 
  • Edible flowers from one share (about fifty blossoms), sepals removed and composted
In a large bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup of the apple juice, allow to sit for at least one minute. Bring the remaining three cups of juice to a boil.

Pour the boiling juice over the juice and gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Transfer the juice and gelatin to a mold or shallow pan if desired.

Refrigerate for about a half an hour. If you add the flower petals to the boiling hot mixture they will cook and their color will fade.

After the mixture has cooled to about room temperature, stir in the flower petals.

Get your kids to help :)
The petals will float on the surface of the juice.

Go with it, it works.
Refrigerate for an additional two hours, or until the gelatin is firm. 

Unmold, or slice into squares, or just eat it with a spoon - like we did.

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