Wednesday, May 5, 2010

urban garden party II

Daylily and indian strawberry salad- daylillies are edible (asiatic lillies are not!!) and most recipes I found online call for the immature buds. I live next to a vacant property that is overrun with them and every year I have pull bunches of them out of my walkway. This year I saved all the tubers and roasted them just like potatoes. They look just like little fingerlings (3rd picture) and while cleaning them was a bit of a hassle they were quite tasty- like potatoes but a little sweeter. They are tossed in olive oil, garlic and rosemary and roasted for 25 minutes or so. The indian (or false) strawberries grow all over my yard and are kind of a childhood memory- I always ate them as a kid. They are not true strawberries and taste more veggie-like than fruit-like. They went beautifully with the daylillies. The purple flowers are chive blossoms. The white dishes are little soy sauce containers and a reclaimed piece of wood below that. I did a lot of layering of serving pieces for this party.

Dandylion green ravioli with wood sorrel butter sauce- This is just a standard pasta dough with dandylion greens worked in. I left the edges sort of rough because I thought it was sort of weed like. They are filled with homemade ricotta. The sauce is one of the few elegant recipes I found for foraged greens and it's from a larger article that is really interesting. It's basically a beurre blanc with wood sorrel added in and it is delicious. Wood sorrel is another childhood favorite of mine-- they look like clovers with heart shaped leaves and taste like lemon. There are some dandylion petals sprinkled on top. The serving platter here is a rattan charger that has been buried in my closet forever, a slate roof tile that I found, (this is when it's helpful to be a sculpture teacher) hydrangea leaves and the saucers from a tea cup collection that I have.

Red clover pimm's cup- The Pimm's Cup is a traditional British summer time cocktail- and I am always craving anything with cucumber in it this time of year. I was also tossing around ideas for iced tea and lemonade- the two most summery American drinks and what I came up with is a delicious combination of all three. First I made a red clover tea with clover blossoms, water and honey. Next a simple syrup with lemon zest and juice. I combined these with gin (should have used pimms but I didn't have any and it's gin based anyway) a little club soda and lemon slices, cucumber sticks and mint. I was worried that this was going to be too much-- I usually favor drinks with less ingredients, but they were brilliant, if I do say so myself. So light and refreshing. I must admit I drank both of them right after taking the pictures. The red clover tea really tasted good (I was a little worried...) and surprisingly tea-like. It's supposed to be really good for you as well. Apparently the "blossoms are rich in B vitamins, calcium and protein and they enrich the fertility of the soil they are planted in."

The flowers are roses, hydrangeas, honeysuckle and white and red clover. All of the floral arrangements are in reused glass jars.

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