Food

Spontaneous herbs and edible flowers

tarassaco, erbe spontanee
Written by EFW Staff

Spring… it’s time for spontaneous herbs

Sun, brisk air and a strong desire to spend the day outdoor. What is better than a long walk along a riverbank or in the fields looking for spontaneous and wild herbs?

The meadows are full of tasty and cheap surprises! It is sufficient to have a knife, a basket and reach a meadow or better a riverbank, far from the traffic. You will find a lot of edible plants and herbs to give birth to healing and tasty dishes!

The herbs of your garden are the best!

Savoury pies, soups, salads and desserts… you can cook thousand of dishes with herbs and flowers, it’s all up to your creativity! Just pay attention to the plant that you have collected before cooking it, in order to avoid bad surprises and intestinal problems.

You don’t have to venture into a forest or to reach the mountains to find lots of tasty herbs, even your garden or the near meadows are full of green delights.

Recipes with spontaneous herbs

Any idea for the dinner? Here you can find pieces of advice to collect herbs and best cook them. Let’s start from dandelion, mallow and sweet violet.

1) Dandelion

The dandelion is characterized by a large yellow flower that becomes a dandelion clock, empty stem and dark green rough leaves. Not only it is really good, but also healing. It is rich in iron, mineral salts, calcium and has lots of detox properties, in particular for the liver.

Infusion: if you feel heavy because of the Eastern lunches, drink an infusion of dandelion leaves and ginger. It detoxes the liver and disinfect the digestive organs.

Salad: the raw light leaves are excellent in a salad, mixed with sweeter vegetables such as fennel, carrots and Piccadilly tomatoes; mix also the buds for a further touch. Baste with the extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar of Modena Igp.

False capers: when the flower becomes a clock, it hides a delight: a button that can be preserved as the capers, in oil or in salt. Pay attention to remove the green part at the base and try it in the eggplant and olives Caponata (a sort of ratatouille).

Fried flowers: an idea for a special aperitif? Fresh steam of Prosecco enriched with daisy or roses petals and dandelion fritters. Soak the flowers in a batter made with rice flour and chilled beer, add a pinch of curcuma and voila! Serve with fried wild sage leaves.

2) Mallow

malva

It is soothing and perfect to regulate the intestine. The mallow, with its lilac flowers with violet shades, is sweet and delicate, really versatile.

Bicolour mallow risotto: start as a usual spring risotto with the Carnaroli rice: grinded spring onion and white wine, add boiled Venus rice and the mallow leaves, carefully washed. At the end, cream and scatter the lilac flowers.

Spring soup: dice the seasonal fresh vegetables and make a good minestrone: new potatoes, peas, spring onions, courgettes, spinach and chards. Add a great quantity of soft stems and the mallow leaves.

Grappa: flowers can even season spirits and Grappa

3) Sweet violet

viola mammola

Beautiful and perfumed, the sweet violet grows in every meadow! It is a bright violet flower, heart-shaped, green small leaves and a thin stem. It has soothing, purgative and calming properties.

Sweet violet trofie: sear the seitan in a pan, or a light sausage for the carnivorous, with a drizzle of white wine and orange zest; add sweet violet and primula flowers at the end, pour the trofie and sear.

Caramelized sweet violet: dry the flowers, soak them in the melted caramel and place them in a baking pan to make them harder. Thy are perfect on the vanilla ice cream or a chocolate mousse.

Bon appetit with spontaneous herbs and flowers!

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EFW Staff