The Delectable Daylily - Stuffed Daylily Blossoms Recipe
Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor
Daylily flowers only open for one day
The daylily is not only a versatile wild edible, but a beautiful and easy-to-grow perennial garden flower. It is native to Asia and has escaped cultivation over most of eastern North America. Daylily is a familiar sight alongside streams, roadsides, and fences. Chances are you are already living close to a patch of this showy member of the Xanthorrhoeaceae family.
Hemerocallis fulva, the scientific name of the daylily, translates from Greek to Kallos – beautiful and Hemera – Day. The common name is derived from the fact that daylily flowers only open for one day. During its flowering season, one can observe: the plump buds of tomorrow’s flowers, the yellow-orange open flowers of the day, and the wilted flowers from yesterday. Cultivated in Asia for millennia, the dried flower buds are sold as “golden needles” and are an important ingredient in many traditional soups.
Having grown up in the suburbs where daylily is a common garden perennial, I was naturally drawn to its yummy flowers when I first began experimenting with wild foods.The flowers petals may be pulled apart and added to salads or as a gorgeous garnish to any dish. They can also be added to a stir –fry prior to serving, which will help to retain their color and soften their texture. The plump, almost-open, flower buds may be dried thoroughly and sealed in an air tight container for re-hydrating in soups or casseroles during the winter months. The dried flowers add a sunny dash of beta-carotene and Vitamin C to any dish. My favorite way of serving the fresh flowers is to stuff them – in the mouth. Please see the photo below of stuffed daylily flowers and the accompanying recipe below.
Daylily can sometimes cause an allergic reaction
In extolling their virtues, I feel I should offer this caution. Some people are allergic to daylily and react to them with vomiting and diarrhea, especially when eaten raw. It is a small percentage of people who experience these unpleasant reactions – perhaps one out of fifty. It is prudent to start with a small amount of cooked flowers or shoots and slowly eat larger portions if no gastric upset is observed. Following this protocol, any serious allergic reactions should be avoided.
Stuffed Daylily Blossoms Recipe
- Sauté pan
- 10 daylily blossoms
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 basket of wild greens
- 1 block of tofu or goat cheese
- Edible flowers
- Pick fresh open daylily flowers and remove the inner reproductive parts.
- Sauté two cloves of garlic and one-half of an onion in olive oil and add wild greens in season. Lambs quarters (Chenopodium album), Nettles (Urtica dioica) and Lady’s Thumb (Polygonum persicaria or Persicaria spp.) are all yummy choices.
- Crumble in one block of tofu or goat cheese and take off heat when the greens are tender and still green. Make sure to cook the greens thoroughly if you have added nettles to remove the potential of their sting.
- Stuff the flowers and garnish with a spiderwort blossom (Tradescantia spp.) or any other edible flower growing near you.
- Serve warm or chilled and share the free-for-the-picking bounty of this glorious Earth!
Meet The Green Mastermind Behind Blog Castanea
JULIET BLANKESPOOR is the founder, primary instructor, and Creative Director of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, an online school serving thousands of students from around the globe. She's a professional plant-human matchmaker and bonafide plant geek, with a degree in botany and over 30 years of experience teaching and writing about herbalism, medicine making, and organic herb cultivation. Juliet’s lifelong captivation with medicinal weeds and herb gardening has birthed many botanical enterprises over the decades, including an herbal nursery and a farm-to-apothecary herbal products business.
These days, she channels her botanical obsession through her writing and photography in her online programs, on her personal blog Castanea, and in her new book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating and Handcrafting Herbal Remedies. Juliet and her family reside in a home overrun with houseplants and books in Asheville, North Carolina.
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