Aren’t we all fortunate to appreciate whole food? Whole foods are a beauty we can transfer to our plates.
I wind through the cupcakes and cookies at my favorite little market to find fresh fruits and vegetables. I was surprised to find pears tucked behind all of the processed temptations. They looked so pretty and tasty; I brought them home and ran to my garden.
This year, I have planted a few new vegetables and edible flower varieties in my garden, which I was looking forward to adding to the fresh pears. I harvested Little Gem Lettuce from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds I had planted in my raised bed. They are quick to grow, so you certainly have time to plant your own if you’d like, though you can use any of your favorite greens. I also harvested chives and chive flowers along with edible violas.
Are all flowers nutritious and edible?
Chive flowers and edible violas contain potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Not all flowers are edible, in fact some are toxic. It’s important to note that violets and violas are different flowers. Violets are not edible. Gardeners Supply has a list of edible flowers to grow in your garden.
Sweet cherry season ends soon, so I harvested fresh basil and prepared a large batch of Cherry Basil Balsamic Reduction to dress my salads. Choose a nicely aged balsamic and read the labels. Cheaper versions will have caramel color added, and some will have added sugar. A good, aged balsamic doesn’t need either of those added ingredients.
I also created a version of this salad with my favorite green, fresh arugula. The Little Gem Lettuce is very delicate and mild in comparison to arugula. I love the peppery flavor of arugula, which adds another layer of complexity to this simple salad.
- 1/4 Pear Sliced
- 1 Handful Greens I used lettuce and/or arugula
- 5 Stems Chives Tear into bite sized pieces
- 1 tbsp Cherries and basil From the Cherry Basil Balsamic Reduction
- 1 tbsp Reduced Balsamic From the Cherry Basil Balsamic Reduction
- Edible Flowers I used chive flowers and violas
- 1/8 cup Toasted Almond Slices
- Wash and dry your pear, greens, chives, and flowers
- Add greens to your plate
- Slice and add the pear
- Add the Cherries and basil from the balsamic eduction
- Add the edible flowers
- Drizzle the balsamic reduction
- Top with toasted sliced almonds
- 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar Aged, No Additives
- 1/8 Cup Basil Fresh Leaves, chopped
- 12 Cherries Fresh or Frozen, Ripe, Sweet, Pitted
- Rinse, dry, and pit the cherries. Cut in half. Rinse, dry, and chop Basil.
- Add all ingredients to a small pan. Heat on med heat until it reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to med-low and continue to simmer until it is reduced by half. About 2-3 mins. Stir occasionally. Check the reduction by tipping the pan slightly. When it leaves a glaze on the side of the pan and has reduced by half, remove from heat. Press the cherries gently with a spatula to infuse the balsamic with the cherry juice. Stir and refrigerate until ready to use.
Another of my favorite dishes to prepare, especially during the hot weather, is Refreshed Cowboy Caviar. Light, fresh, and beautiful! It keeps in the refrigerator for days, so make a big batch!
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Cheers to all! Enjoy your day!