Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flower Power

Sauntering around my local farmer's market yesterday at lunch, I came across a big tray of mesclun lettuce with nasturtium (edible tulip) flowers. I'd seen them before and had kind of looked askance at them. They're definitely pretty, with the bright yellow and orange offset against the dark green leaves. But flowers? I know that people eat them, but I'd never had the chance (or desire to) before. But I was on a farmer's market high, having just bought scrumptious raspberries, Jamaican spinach, heirloom tomatoes, apricots, chocolate cookies, and multi-grain rolls. So I figured, why the hell not?

So I brought the flower salad back to the office and set up a nice plate with the mesclun, nasturtium, a sliced up apricot, parmesan and oil and white balsamic. As I'm heating up the rest of my lunch (eggplant parm), one of my coworkers came by and was entirely flabbergasted that I would eat flowers. He truly didn't believe I would, and demanded that I eat one to prove it. So I did. And my eyes popped. Oh. My. God. Those flowers were really that good. They were peppery but not too much so, and slightly sweet (the apricots helped the sweet side along too). I nearly inhaled that salad, and then I wanted more. I'm normally really picky about salads, but this salad I could eat at every meal. The excellent news is that the flowers will grow until the fall. I wonder if they'll grow in the shade of the walkway outside my door?

They were also selling squash flowers that you can stuff with parmesan and bread crumbs, and I'm seriously tempted, though they're not cheap ($.50 per flower, and they're pretty small).

Seriously, everyone I talked to yesterday heard about those flowers. If you see them at your local farmer's market, you definitely should try them!


JavaChick said...

That's interesting. I've always kind of wondered what was the point of eating flowers. Sure, they probably look pretty in the salad, but I had a hard time imagining what they'd taste like.

Thanks for posting that. :)

The Lethological Gourmet said...

You're welcome! I'd kind of always wondered the same thing, that's why I was so shocked when they were so flavorful. I guess I kind of expected they'd taste like bland flower petals, like if you grabbed any old petal off someone's garden. I was amazed. Not sure what health benefits they have, but they couldn't be bad for you, right? (I suppose I could actually look that up, but I'm feeling lazy right now...)