Hummus and Pita
Take ordinary (high quality) store-bought hummus and pita to another level. Easily jazz it up for guests with a few items from the garden and the pantry. Edible flowers, lemon, herbs & spices, olive oil, nuts – with very little effort, anything colorful and tasty can take the ubiquitous dip over-the-top for entertaining.
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Linguine with Arugula Pesto
Arugula Flowers and Borage Flowers
Arugula flowers taste just like the leaves, but maybe slightly less peppery and with an interesting hint of sweetness. They make a mighty tasty garnish for such a delicate little white blossom.
Borage flowers have much less flavor, only a whisper of cucumber taste, but what they lack in flavor they make up in color. Because the flavor is mild, borage can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, and they make any presentation pop!
With Spring in full force, my garden is bursting with arugula and borage…and since they are growing side-by-side, I thought I would combine them in a pasta dish.
Arugula leaves make a peppery pesto so I lower the volume and balance the flavor with the addition of cilantro and mint. Those who are not fans of cilantro can combine the arugula with another mild-tasting herb, such as parsley.
Linguine Arugula Pesto Recipe
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Arugula and Borage Salad
Feta, Pomegranate Arils, Pistachio Slivers
It’s April and the borage is blooming! These electric blue star-shaped flowers have a mild cucumber taste and a soft texture. They make a striking addition to any salad.
Here, peppery arugula is accented with borage, giving the salad a distinctive visual emphasis. Feta brings salty-tangy-creamy notes while sweet-sour pomegranate arils add another layer of jewel-like color and a crunchy texture. Pistachios add that distinctive nutty flavor.
Pomegranate vinaigrette ties it all together with sweet-savory-zippy characteristics. Serve the dressing on the side for better presentation. Pair this lovely spring salad with a glass of rosé, of course.
- olive oil
- pomegranate arils
- feta, crumbled
- pistachio slivers
- salt and pepper
Toss arugula lightly with olive oil. Gently toss in the flowers. Place salad on serving plates and top with pomegranate arils, feta, and pistachio slivers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a few more flowers on top.
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T. pomegranate molasses
- 2 T. rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 2 t. dijon mustard
- 1 t. garlic, minced
- 1 T. shallot, minced
- salt and pepper
Combine ingredients in a jar and shake well. Serve vinaigrette in a small glass pitcher on the side.
How to Prepare Borage for Food
Unfortunately I see many photographs of borage flowers in food with the sepals still attached. The reddish-brown sepals are covered with bristly hairs, they are not something you would want to eat in a salad.
To separate the corolla from the sepals, simply pinch the middle of the star and pull. Rinse the flowers in a bowl of cool water to remove any dirt or little bugs.
Eat Flowers, Be Happy
Here is a link to all of my Edible Flower posts, photos, and recipes.
Everything But The Bagel Vinaigrette
Farro Cucumber Date Salad
I like to make my salads from scratch, using the freshest ingredients dressed with a homemade vinaigrette. Today I took a short-cut.
Trader Joe’s sells a snappy seasoning blend with a clever name called Everything But the Bagel made with black and white sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds. I put a scoop of the seasoning blend into a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and agave syrup. It was a surprisingly good vinaigrette with sweet and savory flavors and a nice crunch. The dressing paired perfectly with my farro cucumber date salad. It was visually stunning too, with contrasting black and white seeds; ribbons of cucumber swirling around the platter; and just a few scattered edible flowers that made the neutral brown-green palette come alive.
Farro Cucumber Date Salad Recipe
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Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup aka Salmorejo
Hailing from the South of Spain, the refreshing chilled tomato soup called salmorejo is ideal for warm weather entertaining and the perfect soup to kick off a delicious summer.
Traditionally, salmorejo is garnished with chopped hard boiled egg and Serrano ham. Here, as a nod to salmorejo’s close relative, gazpacho, I keep this version meatless by substituting cucumber spirals for the ham. It is often finished with a drizzle of olive oil, however I jazz it up with cool crema and fiery chili oil. A jammy egg sits on top. Purple garlic blossoms make a pretty addition, hinting at the garlic in the soup.
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