Enough high smoke point oil to safely fill a deep pan or a deep fat fryer. (Leave plenty of head room for expansion, blossoms are about 1” diameter and 4-6” in length.)
Sift together dry ingredients.
Separately, whisk together liquid and egg.
Combine dry and wet ingredients. Do not over stir. If needed, gradually add more liquid until you have a fairly thin batter.
Bring oil to 350-375F.
Using the stems, dip each raceme in the batter, shaking or tapping off any excess.
Gently place in oil.
Fry until golden brown. You may wish to turn them midway through cooking.
Remove from oil, place on paper towels, sprinkle salt and/or other seasoning.
> Dandelion Bourkas
Makes 4 bourekas
Okay, to be perfectly honest, I’d never even heard of a boureka until I began scouting out recipes for dandelion greens. Mouthwatering bourekas, where have you been all my life? Thought to have originated in the Ottoman Empire, bourekas (also called borek or burek) have long been a popular cuisine in North Africa and the Middle East. In the United States they are most often prepared as part of a traditional Jewish meal. Dandelion greens are one of many variations of boureka fillings – a scrumptious one at that.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Saute scallions and garlic until soft and lightly browned.
Stir in dandelion greens and saute until greens are limp, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, mix together half the egg mixture with feta and Parmesan.
Combine with the dandelion mixture.
Cut the sheet of puff pastry into four 4-inch squares.
Lay one pastry square on baking sheet, then place a heaping tablespoonful of filling in center of the square.
Fold the dough over the filling to form a triangle.
Seal edges by pressing lightly with a fork.
Brush the surfaces with the remaining egg mixture.
Lightly sprinkle sesame seeds over each pastry.
Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
> Wild Fennel Cookies
Wild Fennel Cookies
I often use wild fennel when I want to add a subtle licorice flavor. This recipe is a combination of an Italian comfort food, anisette cookies, and an American comfort food, sugar cookies If you prefer a stronger licorice or anise flavoring, you can double the fennel quantity without harming the recipe. Makes 1 dozen.
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 egg 1/4 cup wild fennel fronds, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon wild fennel seed, ground
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
Add egg and beat to combine. Add wild fennel fronds. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture one-third at a time.
With your hands, shape dough into 11/2-inch balls and place on lightly greased baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix ground wild fennel seed with remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
Dip the bottom of a glass in water, then into the sugar mixture.
Gently flatten each cookie using the bottom of the coated glass.
Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until very lightly browned and puffed.
Remove cookies from pan immediately.
> Candied Violets
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
30 violet flowers, stems attached
2 egg whites, beaten until foamy
3 Tbs powdered sugar
Beat the egg whites.
Using the stem, coat an entire flower in egg white, shaking off any excess.
Twirl the flower between thumb and forefinger while sprinkling powdered sugar over the flower (a sifter works best.)
Place the violet on a paper towel.
Repeat with the rest of the flowers.
Place your loaded paper towel/s uncovered on a shelf in your refrigerator for 24 hours.
Remove the flowers and let them sit at room temperature for another 24 hours.
Remove the stems with a scissors.
Transfer the candied violets to an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 2 months.
> Dock Pesto
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
2 cups packed, coarsely chopped dock leaves
3 large cloves garlic
¼ cup hazelnuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup grated Romano cheese
½ teaspoon each sea salt and fresh-ground pepper or to taste
Combine dock, garlic and hazelnuts in a food processor.
Pulse until chopped.
Add ½ cup oil and process until smooth.
Add cheese, salt and pepper.
Pulse until just blended.
Add remaining oil and pulse two or three more times.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to one year.