Wild flowers, tender leaf sprouts, and flowering tree blossoms are some of the first signs of spring. Surprisingly, many of these are edible and can be used to make an unusual but attractive and tasty salad.
I like them all! They add a hint of flavour, texture, colour, and newness to a spring salad. My favourites all come from my yard: violets, redbud blossoms, white yucca flowers, baby dandelion greens, and nasturtiums, as well as lots of different herbs.
Flowers from herb plants generally taste like the herb. Flowering tree blossoms are often fragrant but mild. The flowers may be a little spicy or mellow. Usually just the petals are used in a salad.
Garden lovers and adventurous eaters may be eager to try these lovely additions to a salad. Even so, to prepare them for the treat, warn your family and guests ahead of time that the salad being served will have some wild edibles.
Unique Spring Salad
Small amounts of tender baby leaves
Garden Herbs (chopped fine or cut with herb scissors):
Chives and their flowers
Dill and its flowers
Chamomile and its flowers
Fennel and its flowers
Cilantro and its flowers
Basil and its flowers
Dandelion flower petals
French marigold petals
Bachelor’s buttons petals
Crab or apple blossom (small amounts only)
1. Wash lettuce, pat dry and place in individual salad bowls.
2. Wash or mist assorted ingredients and pat dry.
3. Top lettuce with small amounts of the other ingredients. To keep ingredients fresh, mist with water.
4. Just before eating, toss with a small amount of a light salad dressing such as a poppy seed or oil and vinegar.
Warning: Don’t eat anything that has been sprayed with chemicals. Another general rule for foragers is to avoid eating anything with red flowers, red veins, or red berries unless you know they are safe. Red is a sign that the plant may be poisonous.
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