• Country cooking with flowers

    by  • 25/04/2013 • Country food • 0 Comments

    Tulips make pretty, edible bowls for serving ice cream, sorbet and salads

    Now the weather is warming up thoughts are turning more to summery recipe ideas. Every year I love growing nasturtiums and adding the peppery scarlet petals to garden salads. I’m also a big fan of anything flavoured with aromatic rose or lavender – biscuits, cakes, tea and syrup for drizzling over ice cream. So I was excited to take delivery of the gorgeous new book Cooking with Flowers which turned up in the office this week. It’s packed with stunning ideas for edible flower recipes, although I’m not entirely sure about the Dandelion Muffins… It’s not just all about high summer though – there are things you can make right now too. Who would have thought it but it turns out tulips are edible. In the name of research I decided to try some and I can report they taste a little like fresh lettuce (apparently the paler the tulip the better they taste – I went for a cream coloured one from my garden). Add tulip petals to salads, drinks and appetizers for an interesting spin on fresh seasonal food. Now the sun is shining, the ice cream season is definitely here at last. My favourite at the moment is Yeo Valley Vanilla Dairy which is luxed up with Madagascan vanilla pods. How about this idea for serving  it…

    4 tulip blossoms, stamens and pistils removed
    4 large scoops ice-cream
    2-3 tablespoons tulip syrup

    To make the syrup:
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup water
    the petals of two tulips

    Prop each tulip in a container that will help it stand upright, such as an eggcup or champagne flute. Meanwhile to make the syrup, dissolve the sugar in water over medium heat, stirring occasionally until simmering. Place the petals in a glass bowl and pour the hot syrup over the top and let it stand for at least 30 minutes. Strain the mixture and discard the flowers. Floral syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months. If it begins to crystallize, simply heat again until smooth. (Makes about 600ml.) To serve, place I large scoop of ice-cream in each tulip. Drizzle a little tulip syrup over each and place a few fresh berries on the top. Serve immediately.

    *Taken from Cooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher (£16.99, Quirk, for more info go to quirkbooks.com). For more luscious ice cream info, visit yeovalley.co.uk

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