By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:
It’s Spring, and the wildflowers are blossoming in the fields. The Florentine countryside is full of beautiful colors, and so are the gardens and terraces. Some of these flowers are edible, and they are perfect to garnish and enrich a fresh salad, like the nasturtium, with its spicy taste and the beautiful color.
The use of flowers in the kitchen dates back to very ancient times and is in every culture. The flowers are the protagonists of many traditional Italian dishes, such as pumpkin flowers, turnip tops, cauliflower, artichokes, caperberries, and candied violets.
Even wildflowers can enhance many dishes. The flowers just blossomed in the countryside or in the garden are a romantic, cheerful, and fragrant ingredient in masterpieces of refinement and taste. Some flowers have a pungent taste, others spicy or sour, and can be a component that enriches many recipes with taste, imagination, and elegance.
Here is an easy recipe for a colorful salad with edible flowers.
4 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs of poppy seeds
1 tbs of red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
6 cups of mixed salad (arugola, lettuce, endives, chicory)
7 nasturtium leaves
7 nasturtium flowers
1 spring onion, sliced thin
Simply place salad leaves in a bowl with the spring onion. Toss the leaves. Garnish with nasturtium flowers and serve immediately with the dressing on the side.