Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shiso Flowers!!!



Salad-Like Thingy!
After making a purple pesto with the leaves of my shiso plants, I'd said that I was going to start using shiso flowers on salads, and I have been using them ever since. Like the leaves, these little budding beauties are packed with flavor(s): mint, cinnamon, apple, basil ... it's something that you have to experience for yourself. Unlike the leaves, the tender buds concentrate and intensify the flavors in something beautiful and delicate that was just made to adorn a salad.

I've not only been throwing them on mixed green salads, but they've played a role in last minute recipes like this one from the other night: olive-oil-roasted Japanese "Millionaire" eggplant*, mixed greens, sweet Italian sausage (olive-oil-and-balsamic-roasted crimini mushrooms for the vegetarian), olive-oil-and-balsamic-roasted Brussels sprouts, and shiso flowers over a rice and orzo mix with an extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar dressing.

If you can, I recommend that you grow some shiso for yourself. If your local gardening center doesn't carry it, request it. They're not just fantastically delicious, they're good for you too.

*Small (about eight inches long fully grown) and flavorful, these eggplants have really produced! They're great roasted and cubed on a salad or as a side dish mixed with other roasted vegetables.

Budding Romance