Asheville Eats Floral Salads
Posted On Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Springtime in the South
As with most things, (including bumper stickers, sundresses, and all things fried) the south takes the coming of spring every year very seriously. Part of the reason spring is important to us here below the Mason-Dixon Line is that it finally warms up to a temperature our thin blood can handle, and it opens the doors for a new round of seasonal food! If you're looking for something new and exciting to try this spring, I have the perfect thing to kick off your meal with!
I'm not going to lie to you, if I could chose anything to eat, it probably wouldn't be a salad. However, every once in a while there is a salad that looks so incredibly, I'll take it over everything else on the menu. Aside from the words "Greek" or "Mediterranean" (which makes me want to eat almost anything they're associated with) flower salads are always very eye-catching. Our society began by surviving off the land. Our forerunners ate anything and everything they could, a condition that lasted a little longer in the south (seriously, opossum on Thanksgiving?); now however it's seen as extreme eating. The staple of a flower salad, according to Martha Stewart, is the same as any other salad - lettuce - however, after that, you have to decide what flowers to add. Fortunately for you, a certain blogger likes for people to know all their options!
If you don't like a strong taste, pansies have a similarly mild taste to lettuce, with a thicker, more velvety texture. However, if you like a little kick of flavor in your salad, you may prefer carnation petals. You should only eat the petals of carnations and you should take a nibble of a petal from each flower, because some of them are a little on the bitter side. Calendula petals (again, only the petals), can add a mild, tangy flavor to your salad and the visual freshness of a daisy appearance to your salad. Bachelor's Buttons offer a soft cucumber-like taste to your salad and contrary to their pokey appearance, they are very soft and delicate. Finally, the most common floral salad component is dandelion greens, which is reportedly earthy, nutty and pleasingly bitter in flavor. The blossoms are bitter when mature, sweet and honey-like when young and best when tight buds close to the ground. They can be served in the salad or spread over rice for a healthy way to add flavor.
Let Your Salad Blossom
Let your salad reflect the natural and utterly unique beauty of Asheville. Floral additions to your salad are a fun, festive and seasonal way to add new color and flavor to your food without adding calories. Don't be afraid to experiment with salad seasonings and dressings. One of the best seasonings with dandelion, for example, is garlic. And the most common dressings with floral salads are various honey or vinaigrette choices. Have fun adding some boldness to your pre-meal salad and happy spring eating!