Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

It’s A Good Year For the (Edible) Orange Daylilies

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Daylily, hemerocallis fulva, good enough to eat.

It’s been a gonzo year for the orange daylilies. The hot, sunny weather brought hundreds of blooms to my daylily stand. Species daylilies are one of the easiest perennial plants to grow, are great for cut flowers, but did you know you can also eat them? Don’t try to do this with the the modern hybrids. While there are many gorgeous hybrid daylilies, the species orange ones are said to be the tastiest. The tubers, which are part of their root system (and also help them get through the drought we’ve been having) can be cooked, as well as the early shoots, flower buds and flowers. Some think that daylilies are poisonous, but that is usually due to mixing up the common name, daylily, with actual true lilies, which are not edible.

The species, or common orange daylily’s real Latin name is hemerocallis fulva. Hemerocallis means “beautiful for a day”, or hēmera “day” and  kalos “beautiful.” Fulva means tawny (in colour). While each flower stays open for only a day, they still work well as cut flowers.  As each flower scape has many flower buds, just remove the finished bloom, and the others will flower in turn.

Young daylily shoots, which are the first, tender leaf tips that come up in spring are said to taste like onion-y string beans by foraging expert Steve Brill.  He suggests this cooking method : It’s too late now, but remember this one for next year!

Chop and use the young shoots raw in salads or sandwiches, or steam, sauté or stir-fry them. Add them to soups, stews or casseroles. Virtually any cooking method works with them, and their tasty, string bean/onion flavor always shines through, no matter what other ingredients or spices accompany them. They cook in 10 to 15 minutes. Use shoots under 8 inches tall.

Tubers can be dug without harming the plant. Dig some up, cut off some of the tubers, which look a little like fingerling potatoes, and then cover up the roots again. Here’s a recipe for daylily fritters,  which uses the flower buds in a light batter. It’s best to pick buds which are still green-looking. Here’s a recipe for pan-seared daylily buds. This author/cook calls them poor man’s asparagus.

The only downside to the fulva daylily is its tendency to spread wildly. The newer hybrids stay in easy-to-manage circular clumps. But if you have space for daylilies to roam, and don’t mind if they roam far, go ahead and plant. Otherwise, I’ve seen clumps of daylily planted in enclosed areas like hell strips that stop the daylily from getting out of hand.

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The Secret Ingredient For Your Next Tourtière

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Meat pies are all the rage these days; Jamaican meat patties are sold in just about every corner store in the city core, and franchises of Australian meat pies are popping up all over the place. But Canada has it’s own famous meat pie, and no discussion of distinctly Canadian foods would be complete without a mention of tourtière, the classic French Canadian pork pie that has been synonymous with comfort food for generations. Recently we discovered a secret ingredient that will make all your future tourtières the best you’ve ever had.

 

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Introducing the Römertopf

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One-pot meals are awesome. A whole industry exists around slow cookers and crock pots, and casseroles, cassoulets, baked beans and pot roasts  have been satisfying fans of the single-dish supper for ages. We’ve written about Dutch Ovens before, and every winter it gets a great workout, but today we’re having a look at another classic one-pot cooker; the Römertopf.

The Römertopf is made of terra-cotta clay, porous and unglazed, and its simple but ingenious design allows for the cooking to be done by combining hot air and steam. Continue »



How To Use Scented Geranium Leaves

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Scented geranium leaves that work for culinary and aromatherapy.

One of my favourite herbal plants is a scented rose geranium, which gives off a delicious scent of rose when the leaves are crushed. The houseplants we commonly call geraniums are actually Pelargoniums in botanical-speak. They are tender perennials, originating in South Africa. But no matter the name, the rose geranium is one of my Must Have plants. While it’s not a flowering specimen—the flowers are insignificant—rose geranium is more than worth it to grow for the scent alone.

In nature, there are some plants and flowers that have complex aromas and flavors. Probably the best example of this is wine grapes. Just think of all the words to describe your favorite wines: berry, chocolate, citrus, oaky, grassy. The list is almost endless. In the world of herbs, scented geraniums are similar.

I use it as a ‘walk by” form of aromatherapy, grabbing a leaf and burying my nose in it, for a shot of wondrous olfactory bliss. This is the kind of thing you need in November, or any winter day, really. The scent is similar to the Attar of Rose scent, a true rose fragrance.

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Two Perfect Squash Recipes for Thanksgiving

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Have you finalized your Thanksgiving menu yet? We think that along with the turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, at least one squash dish should adorn every Thanksgiving table. Whether prepared in a salad, soup, or as a show-stopping main course, squash is not only a delicious and beautiful addition to your dinner, it is one of nature’s ultimate superfoods, so indulging in it means you are getting a lot of a good thing. Continue »