Floral Spring Brunch
April 25th, 2018

Add rustic elegance to your Mother’s Day celebration with edible flowers, many of which can be clipped from your garden or planters. Ensure all flowers used are organic. Specialty dried flower petals can be bought online or from most bulk herbal and tea sections at a local market.

 

Spring Rolls Violets and Pansies

  • 1 large bunch watercress, chopped
  • 8 dried spring roll skins (clear rice wraps)
  • ¼ medium cucumber, sliced in strips
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Soy sauce, to taste
  • 4 ounces shredded carrots
  • 20 pansies, violets or nasturtium flowers
  • ½ medium red pepper, sliced in strips
  • ½ cup sweet and sour dipping sauce, optional

Prep, wash and slice all vegetables. Lay them on a plate, ready to stuff into spring rolls. Fill one large 10-inch (or wider) shallow pan with water. Soak one rice wrap at a time in the water, getting both sides wet first to prevent curling. Once one is soaked through, place it on a clean plate and fill with vegetables as desired. Place flowers down first, facing outward, so that they show through the rice wrap when rolled.

Season the vegetables with soy sauce before rolling. While filling, soak the next rice wrap. Roll like a burrito so the ends are tucked and not visible. Garnish with more flowers as desired.

Serve with your favorite sweet and sour dipping sauce.
Recipes by Chelsea Ganz; photo by Elisa Weiss

 

Calendula Pizza

  • 3 ounces artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 2 ounces black olives, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • Premade frozen dough for one 15-inch pizza
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ small zucchini, diced
  • 2 small white mushrooms, diced
  • ½ Roma tomato, halved and sliced
  • ½ small red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons dried calendula petals
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 oyster mushrooms, halved, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375 F.

Thaw and roll out the pizza crust. Lightly sauté all vegetables in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. While vegetables are sautéeing, bake the crust for five minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and baste with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Layer with pesto sauce, then veggies. Top with Parmesan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crust is cooked through and golden brown, and cheese is melted.

 

Blueberry Rose Chocolate

  • 10 dried rose buds, crumbled
  • Fresh roses for garnish, optional
  • 3-4 tablespoons raw sugar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate bar, unflavored
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¾ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • Pinch sea salt

Line a wide freezer-compatible pan or tray with wax paper. Form eight small clusters of cashews, evenly spaced, on the wax paper. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt coconut oil and chocolate together. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla extract, sugar and all but a pinch of the crushed rose buds. Stir thoroughly. Fold in half of the blueberries.

Gently spoon chocolate mixture over the cashew clusters so it mostly coats the nuts, with a few showing through. Before mixture cools, garnish by dropping the rest of the blueberries and sprinkling the rest of the rose buds onto the clusters. Place in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes, or until solid but not excessively frozen. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate.

 

Garden Fresh Frittata With Squash Blossoms

  • 8 medium eggs, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 sprigs fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 large heirloom tomato
  • 4 ounces artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • ¼ medium yellow onion, diced and sautéed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 fresh squash blossoms, washed

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an approximate 9-by-9 inch cast-iron skillet or baking dish with non-stick spray or olive oil. Mix eggs and vegetables in a bowl, saving one sprig of basil for garnish.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish and top with cheese. Cover. Bake for approximately 40 to 50 minutes, or until edges lift slightly from pan and middle is cooked through. Lower the heat if the edges begin browning excessively before middle is cooked. Garnish with pesto and squash blossoms.

Lavender Lemon Bars

Crust
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter or ghee
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch sea salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey

Filling
6 egg yolks
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons butter or ghee, solid and cut into pieces
5 to 7 flowering lavender sprigs, flowers removed by pulling along the stem

Heat oven to 325 F. Grease an 8-inch-by-8-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.

Crust
Place flour, butter, salt and baking soda in a food processor. Pulse no more than 10 times. Add honey and vanilla and mix/form into firm dough. Remove dough and press into the baking dish. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove and cool.

Filling
While the crust is cooling, whisk together egg yolks, honey, lemon zest, juice and vanilla. Add ¾ of the lavender flowers so their flavor will infuse the filling as it is cooked. Heat in a saucepan over low heat, slowly adding butter and stirring continuously. Continue to cook and stir until a thick pudding consistency forms. Remove from heat and strain using a metal mesh strainer. Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.

Pour the filling into the crust and smooth. Bake at 325 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until filling is set. Remove from oven and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. When ready to serve, remove from the pan by lifting the parchment paper. Slice into squares and garnish by sprinkling with the remaining lavender flowers.