Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Heaping Helping of Hollyhock ...

The quintessential garden biennial
has long been silenced as an edible.

There are not a lot or recipes to be found for them.
But we do know that their leaves are
prepared like a spinach or chard, although
they don't taste like them.

The seed pods (shown here lower left)
are ready to plant when dry and brown.
Simply scatter where you wish to
see them year after year.

We know that their flowers can be tossed
into our salads.
Admittedly, with a tendency to be slimy.

For the leaves, we must create our own recipes
for these generous, yet humble
harbingers of nutrition.

Here is one that I found, however
we may use most anything that calls for
hearty greens.

6-8 large hollyhock leaves
1/2 red pepper
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
pinch of ginger
soy sauce to taste
olive oil suitable for frying

Hollyhock leaves are a bit rough so pre-boil the hollyhock leaves in
small amount of water until they are somewhat tender. Then drain
and chop the hollyhock leaves.

Stir fry all of the above mentioned ingredients in olive oil (use
olive oil which is suitable for frying).
~     ~     ~     ~     ~

We might also add the steamed leaves
to egg dishes like quiche and omelets.

Holly Hocks are a member of the mallow family,
which is a medicinal plant.

Apparently, the demulcent root, high in mucilage,
makes a wonderful cough syrup.
Personally, I'm not yet recommending this.

Daylilys are Delectable!

Probably not that strange
if we stop to consider just how many creatures
love to eat these sunny, floriforous perrenials.  


Naturally, it was only a matter of time
before I would discover that my happy,
but fleeting garden blossoms
could also nourish my dear ones.

All I need is a recipe.
Or three.

2 cups daylily buds
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/3 cup almond slivers
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
1 Tbs. Rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs. Tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbs. Water
2 cups cooked brown rice

Steam daylily buds for 10-15 minutes, until
tender. In a wok or heavy skillet, heat the oil
over a high heat until very hot. Add the almond
slivers, sauté until browned. Quickly remove
the almonds from the pan, set aside. Turn heat
down to medium. Add grated ginger and cook 1
to 2 minutes. Add vinegar, tamari, and water.
Stir to mix. Toss in daylily buds. Serve over hot
rice, topped with sautéed almonds. Serves 4.

1 cup fresh bean sprouts
2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and
sliced into matchstick-sized pieces
1/2 pound crab meat or crab substitute*
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar

* Blanche the bean sprouts by dropping them in
boiling water for about a minute. Then cool
under cold running water. They should still
have a crunch.
* Combine all ingredients thoroughly and
refrigerate. You can even make the crab salad a
day in advance. *When you are ready to serve,
spoon several tablespoons of the salad into the
center of each daylily flower. You may also top
each filled daylily with a scattering of toasted
sesame seeds or finely chopped scallions for a
more colorful presentation.
* Smaller daylily flowers require less crab
salad, so this recipe makes enough to stuff two
dozen large daylily flowers or 30 smaller
flowers (such as Stella D'Oro.
Source: Kristen Kearney, Tranquil Lake

Stuffed daylilies are beautiful as a centerpiece
or hors d'oeuvres. Select the colors you wish to
work with first thing in the morning. Trim and
wash the bloom and place in the refrigerator
until ready to use. Mix the following recipe.
Fill each blossom and set them upright in a
beautiful serving dish. Very delicious:

1 cup diced cooked chicken*
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 -3 oz pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
Mix well. Fills approximately 8 large or 12
small daylily blossoms.

Orange and Ginger Glazed Daylily Buds

  • 3 cups daylily buds (or fresh green beans)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons crystallized ginger (finely chopped)
  • 14 cup orange juice
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
Place the daylily buds in a steam basket and set over boiling water in a pot.
Cover tightly and steam the buds until partially tender, about 3 minutes.
Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.
Dry the buds gently in cloth or paper towels.
Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
Add the daylily buds when the butter is sizzling but still light in color.
Stir in the crystallized ginger and cook,
stirring often, until buds are partially tender, 1-3 minutes.
Raise heat to high, add orange juice and cook, stirring often, until liquid is reduced to a glaze. Season daylily buds with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately.

Day Lily Nutrition Facts
Day Lily (per 100g)
Hemerocallis fulva

Calories 42
Protein 2g
Fat .4g
Calcium 87mg
Phosphorus 176mg
Iron 1.2mg
Sodium 24mg
Potassium 170mg
Vitamin A 3,000 I.U.
Thiamin .16mg
Riboflavin .21mg
Niacin .8mg
Vitamin C 88mg

Day lily buds, raw (per 100g)
Hemerocallis fulva

Calories 42
Protein 2g
Fat 0.0g
Calcium 87mg
Phosphorus 176mg
Iron 1.2mg
Sodium 0.0mg
Potassium 0.0mg
Vitamin A 3,000 I.U.
Thiamin .16mg
Riboflavin .21mg
Niacin .08mg
Vitamin C 88mg

 Choose the smaller buds and cook them as you would beans.  Steam and serve them with butter or olive oil.  Add tender-cooked buds to salads.

Day lily buds will keep in the refrigerator for several days, but the delicate flowers should be eaten the same day they're picked.  Add the petals to egg dishes, soups and salads, or dip whole flowers in batter and deep-fry them, as you would squash blossoms.




Squash Blossoms ~ What's the Deal?

Left, male blossom
Right, female blossom

Lesson number one:
There's a male and a female flower.
The male has a long, slender stem.

Male blossom

Female blossom

That's the extent of our botany lesson for today.
And that's all we need to know
in order to enjoy both ripe squash
and their tender, young blossoms.

we're picking the blossoms with the long stems.
Do this early in the day,
before the flower gets too spent.

Now what?

Very gently clean them,
removing most of the stem.

Next, mix a soft cheese with some savory herbs, salt
and minced onion or chive.
Set in the fridge to firm a bit.

Fill your blossoms with cheese mixture.

Next, dredge your flowers in
an egg & milk mixture.

Coat them with flour or
masa harina & pepper.

Fry them in oil.

Addendum 16 Aug, 2011

I saw this recipe
this morning and must include it in this post.

Chef Ryan Hardy uses cake flour
and sparkling water
to keep the tempura batter light
for these delicate blossoms. 

He also recommends
removing any larger-sized stamens.

He stuffs them with
 fresh mozzarella and anchovy.


I'm starting a new category;  Waste Not, Want Not. 
I could file this stuff into my
Saving and Organizing Category,
but I'm detecting a decidedly distinguishable difference here. 

WWI Poster

These are the little bits that we can do every day,
every season, and every year. 
Things that make up a lifetime,
form our character, and teach our children. 
They're choices that we make. 
They become habits that we form. 
These become influences upon our children
that become a standard way of living.
This is how it's done.

It's not the meaning of life.
It is, however, a reminder to see our lives
through long-term lenses.
We owe it to ourselves and to one another.

I'll go back and file any previous posts that may fit this new category.
But for today,  I have one:


Collard Greens

Once upon a time I found myself wondering,
"What in the world are collard greens?"
Basically, it's like a cabbage plant without a head.
The reason they're so popular down south
is because they're available year-round
and they're easy to grow.
They're nutritious, and very tasty cooked with
the traditional smoked & salty, fatty pork.

Somehow, along my research,
I also (re-) discovered that many greens are edible.
As the home-maker of a large family
and the curious child of frugal generations,
I love this idea!
As a nurturer, I must pass it on.

Here's is a list of tasty greens
you might no longer throw out;

Brussels Sprouts
Sweet Potato
Nasturtium ...

Beet Greens

A simple & delicious beet green recipe
can be found at Simply Recipes
This uses bacon, onion, garlic, sugar,
red pepper flakes, and cider vinegar
with the beet greens.

I like to stuff mine and roll them.
They're putzy, but my family is nuts about these.
I don't follow a recipe, but I found one on a
New England site.
With ground veal, egg and bread crumbs
they mix dill, lemon zest, allspice, & pepper.
Mix well & shape into little logs.
Wrap your greens, which you've softened with boiling water,
around each roll.
Simmer in garlic & chicken broth 30 min.
Remove your stuffed greens,
reduce liquid to 1/2 cup.
Blend some flour & sour cream together,
add to your liquid & stir until thickened.
Pour over stuffed green & serve.  YUM!!

Often, I use whatever greens I have on hand.
When I'm in the garden, I harvest whichever is ready.
If I walk into my kitchen with
stalks of chard, beet green, and a couple of broccoli,
I simply dust them off, trim the stem,
and store them in a 
pitcher of water until I'm ready to use them
in a day or two. 

This idea of mixing
works the same for salad greens.
If I have dandelion or
young broadleaf plantain in my garden, 
I harvest these with my lettuce greens. 

Broadleaf Plantain

I toss in chive flowers, if it's early in the year.
Rose Petals, squash flowers,
and young beet leaves in June.
Mid-summer brings the tiny wood sorrel seed pods. 
They have a citrusy kick.
Also, the star-shaped blue borage flowers are ready.
These taste like cucumber.

Chive flower

Wood Sorrel seed pods
(The ones with the tiny, five-petalled yellow flowers.)

Borage Flower

Later come the peppery nasturtium flowers
in the bright, hot colors.
The seed pods are nice to save for pickling,
just throw them into any batch.
Of course, you can eat these however you'd like.
The leaves are especially spicy.

Eating Peppery Nasturtium Petals

Nasturtium Seed Pods

I could go on and on,
but I encourage you to do a little
research of your own.
Find out whats edible and nutritious.
Sadly, it's a lost art.
This stuff's right in our own back yard!
Just be sure you're not harvesting
from an area where it is sprayed with chemicals.

Do you have some old recipes
that use some of these kinds of
"want not" ingredients?
Please share them!
I'm a collector!

Wikipedia gives a List of plants with edible leaves

Addendum:  Posted on Made by You Monday
on Skip to My Lou
15 August, 2011.

About Me

My photo
As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!