Sunday, April 19, 2015

Should I eat flowers? - Easy Marigold Spring Salad

One of my best friends invited me to a dinner party at her house yesterday. I promised to make salad but I only had a vague idea of what I wanted. I knew I wanted flowers in my salad but they are often difficult to obtain at my grocery store. Luckily, I found some marigolds. For the first time flower-eater, consuming colorful petals seems wrong. When people see my salad they often ask, "Can I eat this?" and follow up with "Really...?" The answer is, "yes and yes." Flowers brighten up dishes with their vivid colors and lovely fragrance. Of course not all flowers are edible but when you find some, do use them in your dishes!

To make my spring salad, you will need:

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

4 radishes, sliced (any kind, they are best in the spring)
8 cups lightly packed mesclun mix
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
4 heads of marigolds
Sprigs of dill

Champagne Vinaigrette (adapted from Epicurious)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 Cup olive oil

  1. Make dressing: combine all ingredients in a mixer/blender and blend until oil is evenly incorporated. Adjust to taste. 
  2. Slice radishes with a mandolin (1/8" thickness). If you don't have a mandolin, slice radishes as thinly as possible. Mandolins are a worthy investment if you prefer even slices. 
  3. Throw radishes, mesclun mix, sunflower seeds together. Pick apart the marigold heads and top each plate with them. Top with a few sprigs of dill.
This salad is a wonderful appetizer and can be turned into a full course if you add heartier nuts or hard-boiled eggs for protein. 

For my tea, I had Bellocq's Etoile de L'Inde. It combines the sweetest spring fragrances I can imagine. I was lucky to find a canister of this tea at Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston. It's delicious and pairs well with light fare such as salads and fruit. 

Etoile de L'Inde contains marigolds, passion flower, jasmine, and rose. 
Wishing you all a lovely week!