Recipe courtesy of EcoTulips
Kerriann Koemann, March 2011
I started making this salad last year once I discovered tulip petals are edible.
I tasted all of our different varieties and chose the ones I like the best. Tulip petals taste like sweet lettuce and some of them end with a pepperery note. I suggest trying a number of the EcoTulips varieties (we will be taste testing at the Second Organic Tulip Festival) to discover which ones you prefer and then just go by color.
The most fun about this salad is what you can do with color; it makes for a stunning display and serves as a great conversation starter!
Ingredients for the perfect EcoTulips Organic Tulip Salad
1. Start with some organic greens - a mesclun mix is best as it adds texture and spice. Bright wood Vineyard and Farms Organic Mesclun mix is available at Rebecca’s Natural Food Store in Charlottesville, VA. You can make your own basic mix by adding arugula to your lettuce. I love to add whatever fresh herbs are available - dill is one of my favorites for this salad.
2. Top your salads with a colorful array of petals (make sure to wash and rinse off the pollen before serving to avoid heartburn!). My favorites are the single petal varieties (I found the double peony type to be harder to chew) such as Purple Prince, Silver Dollar, Menton, and Yellow Flight. Ille de France is sure to be a good choice for adding a splash of red. My salad color choices coincide with the blooming of the different varieties.
Early mix: Purple Prince, Silver Dollar and Lalibela (purple, white and red).
Middle mix: Gabor, Rousillion, Soft Design (purple pink, raspberry, soft pink)
Late mix: Menton, White Dream, and Negrita (peachy pink, white, purple)
3. For a salad that stands out in both color and taste, I add chevre cheese, organic pumpkin seeds (pepitas), finely sliced shallots, dried cherries (cranberries and blueberries also work well) and fresh herbs like dill.
4. Salad Dressing, keep it light so you don’t lose the complexity of flavors in this salad. A simple balsamic vinegar and olive oil is always nice or a vinaigrette (see below).
Tulip Salad Vinaigrette
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh ground pepper
6-8 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 clove garlic, minced
In small jar, shake together vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard and minced garlic until the salt dissolves. Add oil and shake again. Makes about 1/2 cup.