The Smell of Summer with a Floral Salad Recipe:
Egg and Tomato Salad with Marigold & Chive Flowers
I can officially declare that it is summer! The mercury has been steadily rising over the last four to five days and I am wearing shorts and t-shirts, so, it MUST be summer. My herb garden and edible flower bed is blooming with new flowers opening each day; the next flowers and leaves to grace my salad bowl will be nasturtiums and borage, but, for now I am pleased to be using chive flowers and marigold petals. Of all the flowers that I use in cooking and baking, marigolds have to be one of my favourites – they look bright and cheerful when scattered over salads or omelettes, and they have a lovely peppery taste. They are also rather regal, as they were used extensively throughout the mediaeval period for Royal banquets and special feasts. Marigolds were eaten whole, as well as being used to adorn salads and sweet junkets and Henry VIII was believed to have been very fond of them. The flower also has a long history of being used as a healing tisane, that goes back to the ancient Greeks who drank it to relieve nervousness tension and insomnia. This gaily coloured flower is also known more commonly as Calendula Officinalis, as well as Pot Marigold, Ruddles, English Marigold, Scottish Marigold, Garden Marigold and Common Marigold.
If you are as fascinated with this cheerful culinary flower as I am, there is an alternative herbal healing site here, Herbs Hands Healing, where you can read more about the medicinal side of the flower. I have them growing all over my garden, not just in neat borders (actually, I have NO neat borders anywhere!) but amongst lettuces, soft fruit and even in the chicken run. I have been developing lots of recipes with the humble marigold over the last few weeks, and the recipe I am sharing today is the first in a series of marigold (and other floral) recipes.
The other flower that I have added to my seasonal recipe today, are chive flowers; chive flowers are such a lovely colour and taste mildly “chive-like”. I don’t harvest all of the chive flowers for my floral kitchen, as I need them to progress on to seed heads so I can collect the seeds and for self-seeding in the garden for next year, but, I have so many of them growing randomly in the garden that they are also a very popular addition to my summer recipes, especially dressings, salads, baking and omelettes. I also add them to pasta dishes for a bit of colour and texture, as well as their mild chive flavour.
But back to my recipe, a beautiful salad for enjoying in the dappled shade of a tree, or on the heat of the terrace, Egg and Tomato Salad with Marigold & Chive Flowers – it’s easy to prepare and I love to “paint a picture” on a plate when I make this salad, dipping in and out of my pots of petals as if I had a brush and some paints. As well as the chive flowers and marigolds, I like to add mint to this salad as it imparts a fresh flavour that enhances the peppery taste of the marigolds. I like to use a “robust” lettuce when making this salad, and a slightly bitter one for even more layers of taste – so, my lettuces of choice would be scarole, frisée or cos. The last time I prepared this salad, I used a fabulous piece of kitchen kit that the lovely ladies at Oxo sent me, a Salad Spinner. I have always wanted a good salad spinner, but my husband was not convinced that yet another piece of kitchen apparel was needed, so I was really pleased when I was sent one for review, and I have to say that I LOVE it – NO more soggy, wet lettuce!
But, that’s all for today, with apologies to my regular readers for my lack of posts lately – I was attending Food Blogger Connect over the weekend and have been travelling back home over the last 24 hours……..NORMAL service will be resumed soon! More about Food Blogger Connect later, as well as some new book reviews, a Greek dinner party, some new recipes and also a LOVELY new 5:2 diet recipe too……have a great week, see you soon, Karen
As this recipe has several herbs in it, I am entering this into my Cooking with Herbs (Herbs on Saturday) challenge here: July Cooking with Herbs Challenge (Herbs on Saturday) Win a Foraging & Wild Food Book