A lot of people ask me where I draw my inspiration from and in all honesty, there is no concrete answer to that question. It can come on a random morning while I am drying my hair (This always seems to be my best ‘think’ time…probably because that process takes for…ever…!), while walking through a grocery store, in the colors I see in nature, as an extension of current fashion trends, or in an article I read. Lately, I have been spending a lot of time perusing Yahoo Food, which is essentially a digital magazine that covers the latest in culinary trends, techniques, and recipes, while curating select content from some of my favorite publishers too (Bon Appetit, Food52, and Martha Stewart, to name a few!). Think: lots of pretty pictures and great ideas from some of the best in the biz.
Last week, I came across an article titled “Eat More Flowers“, and voila, instant inspiration! I have used edible flowers in my cooking before because my sister had a huge patch of Nasturtium growing in her garden last summer, but I had no idea that there were so many other alternatives available (Snapdragons, anyone?) << You can find a full list of them here. I for one am pretty excited to see things blossoming in any shape or form after such a brutal winter, and I also really love to add a few of those blossoms anywhere I can. As the article points out, they’re both “glamorous and timeless”, and [in my opinion] make everything prettier – from a coffee table arrangement to a salad, in this case!
The concept for the salad actually came from one of my favorite juice combinations – beet and watermelon. It may seem different, but the flavors really balance out because the beets are earthy, the watermelon is sweet, and the tomatoes fall somewhere in-between. As all of these ingredients are pretty juicy to begin with, the dressing here is minimal and not entirely necessary if you want to skip it. The whole thing comes together easily (The most difficult part is the chopping), and with the added blooms would make a perfect addition to a Mother’s Day brunch (Wink, wink!)…or a nice touch for any meal you want to seem a tad more decadent. For me, life is largely about celebrating the little things and making them feel extra special whenever I can…and sprinkling some flowers on my food seems like a fun way to do it!
PS – Speaking of ‘little things’, how wonderful would it be to throw a pink party, just for the sake of checking out some cherry blossoms? If only I had a tree to work with…
Have a beautiful weekend, my friends!
- 3 Large Red Beets, Roasted, Peeled and Chopped (I roast them at 375 degrees. Because of the different sizes, it's tough to give an estimate on when they'll be done, but I generally go by smell - If my kitchen smells like an earthy beet, then I know they're ready!)
- 4 Small Golden Beets, Roasted, Peeled and Chopped
- ½ Small Watermelon, Chopped (with ¼ Cup Reserved for the Dressing)
- 1 Container Cherry Tomatoes (I used a Tri-Color package, found at Wegmans.)
- 1 Orange Zested and Juiced
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Edible Flowers (I used Pansies and Marigolds.)
- For the Salad: Gently combine the beets, watermelon, and tomatoes in a large bowl. If you would prefer, you can layer the ingredients, since the watermelon and tomatoes will break up easily.
- For the Dressing: In a blender, pulse the reserved watermelon, the juice from the orange, and olive oil, until smooth.
- Garnish the salad with the orange zest and flowers, and dress if desired.