Spring…one of my favorite times of year! This is the time for renewal, opening all the windows in the house and letting everything air out from the long closed up winter days. The birds are singing, the flowers are coming into blossom and the trees are sprouting their leaves to soak up the sunshine. It’s a rebirth! This salad comes as a perfect way to add some of your favorite spring blossoms into a meal for an even more enjoyable way to celebrate the flowers of spring. They add wonderful fragrance and color. Use whatever flower is available to you. I have used wisteria here but if you don’t have a wisteria, you can just as easily add some bougainvillea petals, rose petals or pansies. Here is a list of edible flowers for you to glance at when you can. Wisteria and bougainvillea are not on the list but they are edible (I did my homework before eating them.). I also added some of my bougainvillea petals (stamen and pistols removed), before eating this salad. This was a really lovely dish and I will most definitely be having it again! You can find the original recipe here: Edible & Medicinal Flowers. I wasn’t sure at first but when everything is together and you take your first bite, you’ll discover that these ingredients all come together with great flavor and an exotic appeal. Casual and lively salad, a great way to bring in the spring!
Let me tell you a bit about my wisteria. Every year I get so excited to see it bloom and come to life. It is so fragrant and colorful. The blooms fall and hang beautifully. The clean up is another story but it’s all so worth the beauty. At this time of year you can find me peeking and peering all day long watching as the blooms get bigger and bigger. They start as a small little bud and grow into gorgeous strands of lilac and purple flowers. This beautiful plant was a gift from my parents about 15 years ago. They always have the best taste! It was originally a bonsai, but after a while I decided to put it into a large clay pot and train it as a sprawling standard. It has been there ever since blooming faithfully year after year. It’s truly an easy plant to care for. They are very hardy, aren’t too needy and will live a very long time once established!
Another special ingredient in this spring salad is dandelion greens. This is my first experience with dandelions. They are full of nutrition and are very tasty. In the scheme of leafy greens, dandelions are up there with the highly beneficial kale. I purchased these at my local Sprout’s store. Dandelions are known to be high in calcium, rich in iron and full of antioxidants. They are also a great detoxifying green, full of minerals and trace elements as well as being high in protein, more so that spinach. I will be alternating some of these to my juicing and smoothie regimen as well. You can use dandelion greens in many ways. I have seen recipes for sauteing them, you can also use them in a pesto, or toss them in salads, soups and stews. They are not just a weed but a beneficial green to add to your green & healthy diet.
SPRING SALAD WITH EDIBLE FLOWERS & DANDELION GREENS
- a few handfuls spring mix salad
- 1 bunch dandelions or watercress
- handful wisteria flowers, pulled of their stems (I left mine on, quite by accident)
- 1/2 english cucumber, chopped
- 1 sweet orange, peeled and chopped
- orange zest
Dressing (serves 2)
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- juice of 1/2 orange
- cracked pepper to taste
Start with the dressing by combining all ingredients, except the oil, in a small bowl or decanter, mix well and then add in the olive oil. Mix again and let set.
For the salad ingredients, use as much as you like of each ingredient. Mix your greens, place on serving dish and top with cucumber, orange pieces, orange zest and flowers. Drizzle with dressing just before serving. Enjoy!