Fleured: Floral-Inspired Cocktail; Edible Flowers; Flower & Herb Pasta; Bouley Bakery
GourmetGrrl.com: Food with ‘tude
July 27, 2005
Fleured. This week it’s all about the fleur – that’s flowers to you. Maybe it’s all those weddings we’ve been dragged to, but whatever it is, we’re chasing those petals.
GourmetGrrl, aka Laura Holmes
Grrl with Shaker
Rose Colored Glasses. Hankering for a floral cocktail? Then add a bottle of rose water to your bar collection.
Rose water is nothing new – it was introduced to the world by the Persians, known for their perfumed dishes, desserts, and tonics, and is still used frequently in Middle Eastern cuisine. You can find it in most specialty food shops, as well as Middle Eastern grocery stores.
Known for its medicinal properties, this clear, aromatic liquid adds a certain je ne sais quoi to ordinary cocktails. Just be careful with the measuring cup; you don’t want your drink to taste like Grandma’s perfume.
2 1/2 ounces vodka
1 1/2 ounces lemon juice
1/2 ounce Galliano (see note)
1/2 ounce rose water
1 lemon twist, for garnish
Shake ingredients in a shaker and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Note: Galliano is a sweet, yellow Italian herbal liqueur. It’s flavored with various herbs, flowers, and spices, including anise, licorice, and vanilla. You can find it in most wine and spirits stores.
Grrl with Knife
Bouquet on a Plate: Edible Flowers Before you stare in horror at those petals on your plate, remember that flowers have been used for flavoring and as a food itself as far back as Biblical times. Everything from geraniums to pansies is up for the picking, and it’s the petals, not the whole shabang, that are edible.
Perk up that salad by tossing in a few nasturtiums, chrysanthemums, or pansies. Throw a few flowers on a plain cake or cupcakes to fancy them up. If you’re channeling Martha, you can freeze petals in ice cube trays and float them in drinks. (Your guests will be impressed, if not a little frightened.) Any flowers you’re thinking of serving must be organic so you don’t swallow any crazy chemicals and grow eight heads. You can find edible flowers in most gourmet grocery stores; be sure to ask if you’re not sure what you’re buying.
And don’t just grab any old flower out of a vase: there are plenty of non-edible flowers out there. You don’t want to poison your nearest and dearest, so here are some to avoid: azalea, crocus, daffodil, foxglove, oleander, rhododendron, jack-in-the-pulpit, lily of the valley, and wisteria. Smell ‘em, stare at ‘em, but for God’s sake don’t eat ‘em.
Here’s a floral-inspired recipe that will get all the guests talking at the next dinner party.
FLOWER AND HERB PASTA
1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped fresh, ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped chives
6 chive blossoms, broken into florets
1 cup assorted flowers, chopped, such as nasturtiums, pansies, or dandelions, plus whole for garnish
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat the oil on medium-high heat in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. (Be careful not to let it burn.)
3. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl. Toss the pasta with warm garlic and oil, tomatoes, parsley, chives and chopped flowers.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with whole flowers.
Flour Power: Bouley Bakery and Market. Yes we love petals but we love the other kind of flour just as much. At last we can snack on some serious loaves: David Bouley opened his bakery and market-meets-cooking-school Bouley Bakery & Market in his favorite ‘hood, Tribeca.
Oh to shop at this market: the cellar market sells fabulous local organic produce, the cheese room will make you shout with joy, and there’s an entire area devoted to dry-aging beef.
A wood-burning oven is to thank for the artisanal breads, pastry, pizza, salads, and sandwiches (soft-shell crab or lobster with tarragon, anyone?) that you can eat at the sidewalk tables or upstairs, or take it to go. The second floor has a sushi bar and a demo kitchen (where you can sign up for cooking classes with Mr. Bouley himself), and there’s a bar if you need some booze with all that bread.
Bouley Bakery and Market
130 W. Broadway at Duane St., New York City
No reservations; open 7:30am-7:30pm daily