Spring Spinach and Nasturtium Salad

recipe courtesy of Beekman 1802

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 cups packed or 8 ounces washed and well-dried spinach, preferably flat leaf or baby
2 cups loosely packed nasturtium flowers and leaves (leaves torn if large)
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise
3 flowering chives, greens thinly sliced, flowers torn
4 ounces goat feta, crumbled, optional

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, and salt until well combined. Add the spinach, nasturtium flowers and leaves, grapes, and chives and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Candied Flowers

recipe courtesy of About.com – Home Cooking

Ingredients:

1-2 cups of edible organic flowers
1 egg white, at room temperature (pasteurized is fine)
1 tsp water
1/2 cup superfine sugar
small paintbrush
wire drying rack or a baking rack covered with waxed paper

Directions:

In a small bowl, add the water to the egg white and whisk it gently with a fork or small whisk just until a few bubbles appear. Place the sugar in a shallow dish.

One flower at a time, gently paint each petal with the egg white mixture. Cover each petal completely with a light coating both front and back.

Hold the flower over the sugar dish and gently sprinkle on the sugar on both sides. Dust of any clumps leaving a fine even layer of sugar.

Place the flower on the drying rack or waxed paper to dry. Once the flower is dry, the petals will be stiff. Smooth out the petals now if necessary.

Allow the flowers to sit at room temperature until they are completely dry. Depending on the humidity, this can take up to 36 hours. Option: place the candied flowers in an oven with a pilot light on overnight, or in an oven set between 150-200 degrees F with the door ajar for a few hours.

Store the dried, candied flowers in airtight containers at room temperature until ready to use. They’ll keep for up to 2 weeks. Use for garnish or decorations on desserts.

Look for edible flowers in the herb section of grocery stores or at farmer’s markets. Be sure that the flower variety is edible and that no chemicals or pesticides have been used. To be safe, grow your own!

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