Thursday, March 22, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are

To me, spring is definitely in effect when I see the wild violets. When these beauties start popping up all over the cove, I know it's only a matter of time before rabbits will start hopping through the yard again, the ferns will unfold their fronds, and we'll be cooking ramps into any and everything.

For now, though, the focus is on the violets. We carefully gather them up and then toss the delicate petals onto all kinds of dishes. So far this week, we've had them atop an Herbs de Provence (my most beloved culinary herb blend) & mozzerella frittata, scattered over blueberry pancakes drenched in just-made maple syrup from Amanda, and tossed into a garden fresh salad. I have a recipe for homemade mozzarella in my Home Dairy book and one for a frittata in Keeping Chickens, if you'd like to give a go at recreating this dish yourself. For the pancakes, we turned to our tried-and-true Pancakes of Perfection (to get them as fluffy as ours, take that extra step in the recipe to separate the yolks from the whites, and then beat the whites until soft peaks form).

From my research, all species of violets are edible. That said, if you find some in a heavily trafficked public park (where all manner of dogs do their "business") or alongside a busy road, those might be best passed over. In a forest, your yard, a neighboring yard (with permission, of course!), cemetery or other quiet place, these babies are yours for the picking.

15 comments:

sarahbeth said...

Yes! I never thought of eating those bad billys! I'm going to scatter them over our delicious hand made pizza next week. Thanks for the post!

jen said...

these are all over the banks of our back yard and i had no idea what they were. lovely!

Lisa said...

Beautiful and delicious!

becki said...

I've always loved looking at them and even picking them every spring, but I've never eaten them! Maybe this year?

Erin said...

We eat them in salads a lot. I love the idea of having them in a frittata - I'll have to try it. My daughter's favourite thing to do is to put violets in ice cube trays and then fill the trays with water. She loves having violet ice cubes floating in her drink!

Denise said...

Oh I love violets. I really want to try to make some violet jelly if I could ever find a lot of them. Not too many around my area that I have seen...

oukay said...

There is a delightful violet jam recipe in Euell Gibbons' "Stalking the Healthful Herbs". I wish I had the blossoms to make some!

naturally crafted mama said...

my garden pixy friend danielle has a recipe for violet jelly too... so interesting that you can jelly so many flowers! here's her recipe-
http://onegreentomato.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/violet-jelly/

makingofahome.com said...

Those dishes look amazing! I just came upon your blog via Soule Mama...and I love it! Thanks for the wonderful posts!

Jane said...

And powerful medicine, that violet! I've just been learning about her therapeutic uses. Would you believe I found her blooming her in Massachusetts on February 26th?

http://cultivatejlcm.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/sweet-violet/

alexa said...

All three dishes look delectable. Those violets pack a punch of colour when coupled with food. Thanks for the idea!

standard said...

What beautiful images. Your pictures look beautiful enough to eat, without even having the olfactory cues. Thanks for reminding me about these little violet pleasures from small measures.

standard said...

What beautiful images. Your pictures look beautiful enough to eat, without even having the olfactory cues. Thanks for reminding me about these little violet pleasures from small measures.

standard said...

What beautiful images. Your pictures look beautiful enough to eat, without even having the olfactory cues. Thanks for reminding me about these little violet pleasures from small measures.

standard said...

What beautiful images. Your pictures look beautiful enough to eat, without even having the olfactory cues. Thanks for reminding me about these little violet pleasures from small measures.