As that certain Sunday in May rapidly approaches, our thoughts turn to traditional treats for mom: flowers, brunch, a new tennis racquet… (Threw that last one in there in case our kids are reading.) We rememebered that Maryjo Koch’s lovely book, The Artist, the Cook, and the Gardener, offered a chance to give Mom an all in one. This Flower Petal Salad not only looks lovely on a spring table, it’s also truly good enough to eat.
“I grow many different flowers in my garden—some to ward off garden pests, some for recipe garnishes, and some as subjects for painting,” Maryjo Koch writes. “With my flower painting workshops, my students and I go out to the garden with baskets and cut the flowers we want to paint that day. I provide the group with an array of vessels to choose from, and each student composes a flower arrangement to set beside his or her paints and canvases. The colorful selection of flowers also provides petals for my Flower Petal Salad, which I serve for lunch during the class.”
“When using in a recipe, make sure flowers are edible and organic, have not been sprayed with insecticides, and have been gently washed and dried,” Maryjo Koch writes. “This flower petal salad is so colorful that I like to present it in a large glass salad bowl so that all the flowers can show off their colors. The dressing makes more than needed for this salad, so save the extra for another day.”
The Artist, The Cook, and The Gardener
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Recipes Inspired by Painting from the Garden
by Maryjo Koch
Photographs by Wendy Candelaria
Designed and Produced by Jennifer Barry
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- Zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- 6 handfuls (10 to 12 ounces) small-leafed lettuce (such as the inner leaves of green and red butter lettuce)
- 1⁄2 cup unsprayed edible flower petals (such as calendulas, nasturtiums, roses, borage, and violets), plus more for garnish if desired
- 1 bunch radishes, or a mixture of small red radishes and one larger watermelon radish
- In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients. Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to three days.
- Place lettuce into a large glass salad bowl. Sprinkle flower petals on top, then carefully mix them into the salad. Thinly slice the radishes and add them to the salad bowl. To keep the salad looking its best, serve the dressing on the side in a small bowl, and just before serving carefully mix the dressing into the salad. Sprinkle more flower petals on top if desired.