I love shopping at our local farmers’ markets and we are lucky to have 3! Because the one at Alderney Landing is closer, we tend to frequent this one more often. When I want fresh herbs or lettuce, I buy from Riverview Herbs. Their produce is so fresh it looks as though it was harvested that morning. Last Saturday I spotted nasturtium flowers and grabbed a bag. They looked gorgeous and immediately I knew what I was going to do with them. A few weeks ago I was rearranging the contents in the pantry and found that I somehow accumulated 3 bags of bulgur! Things in the pantry tend to get pushed around ending up on the bottom of the shelf or at the back of the wall. We enjoy adding bulgur to a salad so why not make one that’s inclusive of pretty Spring-like flowers? This bulgur salad is easy enough to make and it looks so festive. Cooking and garnishing with flowers is nothing new. Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking – stuffed or fried squash blossoms in Italian food, rose petals in Indian food, popular in salads in the Victorian era, and let’s not forget capers (unripened flower buds) that have been used as a condiment in Europe for over 2,000 years. Not sure what flowers are edible? Visit About.com to view their edible flower chart.
Serve 4 to 6
1 cup bulgur
small can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (more if you like)
1 1/2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup nasturtium petals
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
- In a small bowl add bulgur and add enough boiling water to cover. Place a lid on and let it sit until the water is absorbed and bulgur is soft.
- In a large bowl mix parsley, mint, cucumbers, tomatoes, chick peas, green onions, feta and nasturtiums. Stir in the softened bulgar and set aside.
- To make the dressing, whisk lemon juice, olive oil and cumin in a small bowl. Pour over salad and lightly toss to combine.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: This salad is hearty enough on its own or can be used as side or at a pot luck dinner. When choosing flowers to eat, buy organic or at least a source you trust to ensure they are free of pesticide residue. Nasturtium flowers will keep up to one week in a sealed glass jar in the fridge. Enjoy!