Monday, November 8, 2010

Edible Daylilies

Dining with Delectable Daylilies
Many people enjoy eating daylilies as a regular part of their diet! Their taste is unique
and varies according to the recipes used. They contain more vitamin A, vitamin C and
protein than green beans, asparagus, or okra. The Chinese have used them for
centuries. On a personal note, I often pop some big juicy buds into a stir fry of
vegetables, or pick some freshly opened blooms to liven up a salad. You can also add
them to casseroles. I've heard some people say the red colours have a bitter taste,
but I haven't yet found this to be true with my own daylilies.

If a recipe calls for daylily blooms, pick them as early in the day as you can while they
are still fresh. Break off the petals and sepals at the base of the stem, wash gently in
cold water. It is also possible to use the wilted blooms, BUT NEVER more than one day
after they bloomed. Pick them while still fresh, wash and store covered for one day
(but not in the fridge.) When using buds, you may pick them as young as you like or
right up until 1-2 days 
before they open. Mature buds tend to open when they come
into contact with heat,
but they will also continue to open if placed in the fridge overnight.
The taste will be
the same, but if you want a firmer bud I suggest picking them a few days
before they
are due to open. Before cooking the buds, trim off the stem and wash gently
in cold
water. It's best to pat them dry before using them in frying, sauteing, or in a salad.

The blooms are terrific in tossed salads for both flavour and appearance.
You can also
use the stamen and pistils from the centres - they have a nice crunchy texture, but you
may wish to remove the tips as they contain pollen.

Daylilies freeze as well as any other vegetable, so you can enjoy them throughout the
year. For ease of handling, buds are usually used in this way. Pick buds two days
before they are due to open. Wash them, then blanch for 2 minutes. Chill in cold water,
drain well, then place in freezer on a tray. When frozen, they can be stored in bags.

A WORD OF WARNING: NEVER use Daylilies that have been sprayed or treated with
insecticides. Here are a few daylily recipes to try:

12-15 large buds

2 tablespoons (tbsp) butter

1 finely chopped onion

half teaspoon oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Trim stems off, rinse buds in cold water, pat dry.
Melt butter in fry pan, saute onions for 2-3 minutes,
then add buds and seasonings.
Stir while cooking for 3-4 minutes until just tender.
Serves 2.


3 cups fresh blooms, chopped

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups diced potatoes

half cup diced potatoes

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 cups milk

Melt butter in pan, then brown the flour.
Add chicken stock, stir constantly until smooth.
Add potatoes, onion, soy sauce and parsley.
Simmer 10 minutes. Add daylilies.
Simmer a further 4 minutes. Gradually add milk,
stir constantly. Do not allow to boil.
Serves 4 to 6.


1 cup firm daylily buds

1 cup sliced yellow squash

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup broccoli pieces

1 cup cauliflower pieces

1 cup sliced zucchini

Steam the broccoli, zucchini, squash,
carrots and cauli for 4 minutes.

Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Steam daylily buds for 1 minute.
Remove and add to other vegies.
Top with your favourite salad dressing,
toss and serve immediately.
Serves 4-6.