Here is a salad that will put a smile on your face. My two loves, food and flowers, brought together in a rainbow ensemble of crispy salad leaves, colourful vegetables, aromatic coriander and soft artichoke.
Edible flowers are all the rage in the restaurant kitchens but we rarely use them in home cooking. You’ll be surprised how many new colours, aromas and flavours you can play with once you add edible flowers and blossoms to your ingredients list. I used Marigold petals in this salad because they’re easy to find and have a lovely citrusy, almost buttery flavour, herby smell and colours that pop off the plate.
Other edible flower varieties are Chrysanthemum, Chinese Jasmine, Hibiscus, Red Poppy, Mimosa, Violets, Lavender, Orange or Apple Blossom, Lavender and many more. You can use flowers for decoration as well as taste, to infuse dressings and sauces, or to scent and colour oils and liquor. Make sure to buy or pick organically certified flowers so you know they’re pesticide free.Print
Large bunch of mixed salad leaves (radicchio, cos, rocket, little gem, baby spinach, watercress, young Tuscan cabbage)
3-4 Marigold flowers
1/2 small Spanish onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
1/2 punnet of grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 red capsicum, sliced into thin strips
12-15 green beans, tails cut off
1 small jar of artichokes, sliced into halves
1/3 bunch of coriander leaves (aka cilantro for my US friends)
For the dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp seeded mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt flake
Cut the green beans into 2-cm pieces at a 45-degreee angle.
Wash and dry all salad leaves and flowers carefully. Pick a selection of leaves shapes and colours to assemble as a base, cut off any rough ends.
Combine dressing ingredients using a fork, drizzle some of it on the bottom of the plate before covering with salad leaves.
Scatter the rest of the vegetables, making sure you get an even spread of colours and shapes.
Drizzle a little more dressing over the salad. Pick flower petals off and sprinkle around the plate.