When I stepped outside into my garden early this morning the air had that familiar sweet earthy smell. The one that instantly lifts my mood as it has done since childhood and leaves me in no doubt that spring has arrived. It is time to throw open all the windows and celebrate with fresh and colourful produce that reflects this season and the beauty it brings.
I feel that few foods bring as much to the table as edible flowers. They are visually stunning and flavours range from sweet to savoury. Edible flowers add texture, fragrance and colour to green salads and it is wonderful to see that they are enjoying a resurgence in the culinary world.
At my local Farmers Market, Janelle Johnston of Byron Bay Organic Produce (www.byronbayorganicproduce.com.au) is one of the only if not the only certified organic edible flower producer in Australia. Janelle is a qualified botanist and is passionate about her produce. When I picked up my flowers from Janelle for this weeks salad, she said that she hoped more people would feel confident about using edible flowers in conjunction with their cooking.
If you haven't used edible flowers before this sweet and delicious salad is an easy introduction for your palette. The secret of success when using them is to keep the dish simple. Adding too many flavours will overpower the delicate taste of the flowers.
Ingredients for the salad
2 bunches of large leaf rocket
1 small cos lettuce
2 cups organic edible flowers
Ingredients for the dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons raw sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Wash the rocket and cos lettuce and dry using either a salad spinner or pat dry with clean tea towels
Pour all the ingredients into the bottom of the salad bowl you are using.
Now use a whisk to thoroughly combine all the ingredients making sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
Putting it all together
Place the rocket and cos lettuce into your salad bowl on top of the dressing and when you are ready to serve mix the dressing through the greens.
Now gently scatter the gorgeous organic blooms over the top. Try not to mix the flowers with the dressing as they are easily bruised.
I hope you will enjoy using these gifts of spring to add flavour and aroma to your next meal.
Buon appetito xxx