David, our produce manager, popped his head into my office just before the end of my shift yesterday. His eyes were shining with excitement as he said, “One of our local farmers just brought in edible flowers. Do you think you could put something up on Facebook about them tomorrow?”
Shoot, I’d do one better than just put it up on Facebook. How could I resist the concept of local, edible flowers for my Eat Local dinner? And if I was going to eat it, I should blog about it, right?
I clocked out and headed to the produce department, giddy with anticipation. I was going to craft a dinner around flowers! Awesome, awesome, awesome! My brain began to spin with options. Obviously, I was going to make a salad with the flowers as the main ingredient. Local greens, blackberries, and Sungolds rounded out the edible posy. We had some green beans we had picked during our last visit to our CSA farm. If I kept it simple and tossed them with some regional butter, they’d compliment the sweet greenness of the salad. Then a little bit of protein… my Charles helped me out with that decision – regional chicken it was (and it was reduced – score!).
The minute we walked in the front door, I started warming up the stove-top, cast iron grill and put a pot on to boil for the green beans. Then I began arranging the salad. I must admit that almost half of the local blackberries didn’t make it into the bowls. They’re wild, so they have that wonderful untamed tang as well as sweetness. A healthy amount of Sungolds, sliced in half so their juices incorporated with the greens were next, and then I added the flowers. It was like arranging in a vase, but better, because it would soon end up as our meal. As soon as the green beans and chicken were cooked, dinner was served.
The flowers gave a green pop to the palate. I especially enjoyed the nasturtiums. They presented a sprinkling of spice across the tongue followed by a delightful burst of mandarin oranges. My Charles wasn’t as enthusiastic about his edible arrangement, so I helped myself to his nasturtiums too. Because of the wild, green flavors of the flowers accompanied with the chicken and green beans, I’d recommend a Sauvignon Blanc made in the New Zealand style. It complements the range of flavors wonderfully.
A little bit of exotic beauty for dinner – it’s so great to work in a place where I get to be introduced to so many wonderful, new experiences, especially when those experiences are on a plate.
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