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Daylily Petal Salad

Daylily Petal SaladHow decadent! Daylilies in a salad!  Using flowers in a dish isn’t a new thing for me but it has been a long time since I last did so.  My grandmother always had a bed of nasturtiums in her flower garden which she used in bouquets around the house and if memory serves me correctly, she ate them in a sandwich.  In the 80’s it was all the rage to make candied (sugar coated) violets, rose petals, pansy flowers etc. as beautiful decorations for desserts.

I was asked to review Cooking with Flowers and was quite excited when the book arrived.  It’s full of sweet and savoury recipes…I have already bookmarked the ones I want to try.  This salad was easy to make, fantastic flavors and made for an interesting discussion around the dinner table.  Daylilies are native to Japan, China and Korea and were mentioned in the writings of Confucius (551-479 BC).  The Chinese grew these plants for their beauty and medicinal value.

Serves 4
adapted from Cooking with Flowers

4 cups arugula (rocket)
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
petals from 6 daylilies (washed lightly and dried on paper towel)
aged Gouda, shaved (use a vegetable peeler)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Maldon flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

dayliliesPlace arugula leaves in a bowl. Add avocado, lemon juice, splash of olive oil and daylilies. Gently toss. Arrange on a platter or individual plates and top with shaved cheese, sea salt flakes and pepper. Serve immediately.

The Culinary Chase’s Note: Gorgeous! Daylily buds will keep in the fridge for several days. However, the flowers should be consumed the day they are picked for optimum freshness and taste.  The flavor of the daylily will vary but the ones we ate reminded me of slight hints of melon.  You can sauté the unopened flower buds in butter or olive oil and sprinkle sea salt over them.  Enjoy!