Flower Salads are Fresh, Wild and Beautiful

Flower Salad

Local, seasonal, fresh and beautiful

Nasturtiums, violets, rose petals, sorrel, dandelion, plantain leaves and seeds, lanvs quarters, fresh lettuce, raw corn kernels and cherry tomatoes. Dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sea salt.  Served in a bowl made by my dear friend Heather Stearns of Muddy Creek Pottery.

This is mid-summer perfection.

Beautiful, wild and nutritious

Use flowers and wild greens from your front yard to add color and vitamin A and C, iron and many trace elements, to your families diet. Our lawn is more of an open patch in the forest, it has never been sprayed with chemicals and the soil is shallow but rich in nutrients from glacial-era clay. The mix of sun and shade supports a variety of wild plants and a few raised beds where I plant the sweeter greens such as lettuce, spinach, chard and bok choi. Lambs quarters flourish there too.

I have my girls pick the greens and flowers for their own salads and I truly believe that they pick exactly what their bodies and spirits need to be optimally nourished in that moment. The other morning my playful 3 1/2 year old tried to make an “all flower salad” only to discover that it is more bitter than she hoped. So she added corn, and snap peas and left most of the beautiful petals sticking to the sides of her bowl. Later her kitten came along and licked the violet petals up, and she told Mouse “that’s purple, it’ll make your fur fluffy”. And she’s probably right.

We are lucky to live where there are very few native poisonous plants, and I taught my children early on to identify the ones they can’t eat (deadly night shade, poison ivy, fox glove . . .)

Walking Forest Salads are fun too

When we go on hikes the girls happily pick their way through the woods: bunchberry (aka crackleberry or Canada Dogwood), huckle and blueberries, wintergreen berries and leaves, wood sorrel (my five year old’s favorite) nettle (carefully picked and put into a backpack pocket for green smoothies later), blackberries, raspberries, strawberries . . . and if we are on the shore, seaside plantain and all kinds of seaweeds get nibbled too. Wild, abundant and beautiful, these plants have just what it takes to grow up on the wild rocky coast of Maine!

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