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      Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.


      Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
      Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts

      Sunday, July 17, 2011

      WHILE DAYLILLIES STILL BLOOM

      Three daylily flowers, picked in the morning, rinsed carefully because the petals are crisp and crack easily, refrigerated until later that same day for a special treat. Remove stamens and pistil before rinsing.
      Place gingerly in crystal stemware, scoop in some raspberry or strawberry sorbet, and top with minced red basil, plus more for garnish. Oohs and Aahs. you're a genius, and such hard work!Use wild or cultivated flowers, ones that you're sure haven't been sprayed, and nothing from the roadside where they've been absorbing exhaust fumes. Daylily flowers are edible though some varieties are more flavorful than others. Usually the aroma will guide you to the best flavors.
      Basil and fruit sorbet is a tasty combination.
      Yesterday in the New York Times Magazine my favorite food writer Mark Bittman showed recipes for ice pops with various herbs and flavorings. I've been doing this for years, sometimes for kids using paper or plastic cups, and sticking a plastic spoon in the sorbet after it's semi-frozen. Here Lucy extracts a watermelon pop from a plastic cup after holding her hands around the outside for a few seconds to release the ice.

      The watermelon was going begging in our house because it was not flavorful. So we cut it off the rind and in chunks, whipped it briefly in the food processor with added sugar, lemon juice and a grind of pepper and poured it into plastic cups. Also resurrect other fruits like limp strawberries or mealy peaches, adding water in the same quantity as fruit.

      Hey Lucy, she likes it!

      Wednesday, July 8, 2009

      EDIBLE FLOWERS & HERBS

      A few decorative edibles from my garden decorating a rich chocolate cake: day lily buds, borage flowers, lavender, roses, bachelor buttons, mint, variegated pineapple mint, and bronze fennel.

      When we say that flowers are edible, that doesn't mean they're all equally tasty. Beautifully perfumed roses taste better than roses with little scent; sweet smelling lavenders taste better than those with a camphorous aroma. And even then, its the petals or buds that are tasty, not the stem, the recptical, or the calyx. People who have allergies shouldn't eat the stamens and the pollen parts.

      I'm particularly annoyed by pretentious chefs who decorate a plate with small orchids or other flowers straight from a tradtional florist. The grower has sprayed them within an inch of their lives.
      When they come from your own garden, that of a friend, or a trusted organic source, you have full control over what you put on your table.

      More flowers & herbs, home-grown, organic, and rinsed before using.

      New potatoes, yogurt, salt, pepper garnished with chopped chives, lavender buds, borage flowers, calendula, and perilla (shiso)

      Sponge roll with lemon sauce garnished with nasturtium flowers' Peaches and Cream' and lemon verbena leaves.
      Chocolate cake, chocolate icing, garnished with nasturtium flowers and leaves, day lily flowers, pansies, calendula, roses and borage flowers from my summer garden.
      (image © Alan & Linda Detrick, Ellen Spector Platt design)
      Two sizes of coconut cakes stacked, garnished with lemon scented geranium, lavender, pansies, roses and hyssop from my fall garden. (image © Alan & Linda Detrick, Ellen Spector Platt design)

      Monday, April 27, 2009

      Knotweed Crisp: follow-up foraging


      Went foraging with my sisters and their sons over the weekend. True, it wasn't in the five boros, but Georgia, at Local Ecology, directed me to a tasty dessert recipe after reading my last post here. She asked me to post a follow-up, and in gratitude for sharing the recipe, I do so now. Hope the rest of you forgive me for this rural post, but even a New Yorker has to get out of Dodge sometime. And the dessert tastes just as good with city knotweed, I promise.


      Start by enlisting your young nephews to help pick knotweed, even if they insist you're crazy. Clean and chop 4 cups of knotweed stems. Simmer over medium heat to create a tender compote. You won't need to add any water; the stems contain quite a bit of liquid. Add 1/2 cup sugar and move compote to buttered casserole dish.


      Assemble crisp topping from 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal, 1 tsp. cinammon, and 1/3 cup butter. Combine to form a rough, crumbly topping, and sprinkle on top of compote. Bake at 350 for half an hour.


      Serve with vanilla ice cream. It's delicious, no matter what the nephews say.


      Thanks, Georgia!

      April, 28, 2009
      P.S. I've just been asked to submit this recipe to the House of Annie: Grow Your Own Roundup. It's a recipe roundup of blog posts written during the month of April that feature ingredients grown in your own garden or foraged from your area. There are some tasty-sounding dishes there...I'm going to try the nettle pasta and ramps quiche!

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