Here at Inhabitots, we are always searching for new vegetables to eat -- and we also like discovering edible flowers we can include in our diets. So we couldn't resist these shiny yellow flowers when we spotted them at the market. They go by several names: 'rocket cress', 'winter cress', 'wild turnip', 'yellow rocket' or 'grelo,' and they have a gentle mustard taste as they are from the Brassicaceae family. Inspired by its happy color, we've come up with a striking yet elegant-looking salad that combines purple and yellow ingredients. On the yellow shade we have the flowers and lemon zest, and on the darker side, red lettuce and red onion, which are actually purple, and sprinkled raisins. So if you are having an off day, try lifting your spirits with a healthy summer salad like this one, and if they don't sell these flowers where you live, try another edible flower option from this list.
1. Gather the ingredients
- a bunch of grelo flowers
- a bunch of red lettuce
- half red onion
- half lemon
- a handful of raisins
- extra virgin olive oil
- marine salt
2. Prep the lettuce
Wash the red lettuce in a bowl with water and a few drops of vinegar, leave for a few minutes and drain (this will get rid of bacteria and removes pesticides, in case you are not choosing organic). Cut the core and drain (salad spinners work best). Chop and set aside.
3. Remove the grelo flowers
Remove all grelo flowers from the stems, but save the leaves, which you can also eat, although we are not including them in this recipe.
4. Wash the flowers
Wash and gently drain the yellow flowers in water and vinegar, like you did with the lettuce. Slightly chop and set aside.
5. Cut the red onion thinly
Cut the onion in half lengthways from bulb end to tip and remove the skin. Soak them in water to reduce tears and wash off the sulfenic acids. Place it on a chopping board facing downwards and cut it lengthways, at a slight angle and into very fine slices (as red onion is very strong).
Place the red lettuce on a plate, first, then add the onion and grelo flowers. Sprinkle some raisins and lemon zest (for extra brightness) and add some lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and why not, a creamy sunflower seed dressing.
Photos © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitots