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Strawberries with Sweet Woodruff

I was looking for something this morning and happened to come across a wonderful book that I’d forgotten I had.  It’s titled Flowers in the Kitchen by Susan Belsinger.

The recipes include so many flowers and herbs that I have in my garden and borders that it gave me a great sense of delight and I can hardly wait to try some. This book is going in my kitchen where it belongs!

Here’s a partial list of the plants whose flowers are included in the cook book:

basil flowers
borage blossoms
chive blossoms
daylily buds ( I can hardly wait to try the recipe Pasta with Daylily buds and Mushrooms)
lavender cream
lemon gem marigolds
marjoram and oregano flowers
mint blossoms
nasturtiums
pineapple sage blossoms
rose petals
rosemary
squash blossoms (If you have too many squash, Fried Squash Blossoms would be a grand way to lessen them.)
sweet woodruff
thyme blossoms

They’re Multi-purposed Plants

If you’ve been gardening a while you probably have many of these plants. If you’re new to gardening, I’d recommend growing some of these not only because you can cook with them, but because they add so much to your garden or borders.  Another important plus: most of them are great for attracting pollinators and other beneficial insects to your garden.

Strawberries with Sweet Woodruff

I’ve chosen this one recipe to share with you.  The ingredients include the flowers from Sweet Woodruff and fresh strawberries. (If strawberries are not in season you can use fresh raspberries or fresh blueberries, although the Ms. Belsinger thinks the sweet woodruff flowers have a special affinity for strawberries.)

Sweet Woodruff and a lone strawberry plant in the border.

Cut sprigs of sweet woodruff the day you are going to serve them and put them in water.  Pinch the flowers from the stems just before using.

Think about this recipe for a special gathering during June, a birthday dinner or luncheon, a special Mother’s Day meal, a special Father Day meal, a bridal shower and any other occasion during the berry and sweet woodruff season when you want something simple that elevates things to gourmet status.

Strawberries fresh from the garden.

Serves 6

4 cups of berries

1 handful sweet woodruff sprigs

1 bottle of a good-quality, not-to-sweet Asti Spumante

1 large handful sweet woodruff blossoms

Put the berries and woodruff sprigs in a shallow bowl and barely cover them with 2 or 3 cups of Asti Spumante. (If the berries are large, halve them.)

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours*, gently stirring once or twice.

Remove from refrigerator 15 to 20 minutes before serving.  Take out and discard sweet woodruff sprigs.

Toss lightly with the woodruff blossoms, and transfer the berries and their liquid into a serving dish or individual dishes.

Pour a splash of Asti into each dish as it is served to give it a bit of fizz.

*Ms. Belsinger does not say, but my guess is that the refrigeration is only to keep the Asti-Spumante cold.  I wouldn’t leave this dish in the refrigerator a minute longer than 1 or 2 hours as strawberries tend to loose their delicate flavor when refrigerated.

Last words

Fresh berries from the garden are one of life’s delights.  They are are healthful, delicious and easy to grow.  If you don’t have either of these in your garden, you could remedy that this spring.

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Additional Information

  • Here’s a source for Earliglow Strawberries. I think they’re the sweetest.
  • And then there’s Flowers in the Kitchen:

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