One of my favorite books on foraging, is Euell Gibbon's Stalking the Wild Asparagus. If you are unfamiliar with Gibbons, he is essentially the founding father of modern-day foraging. Though he wasn't the first to forage (obviously there were many before him, prior to the advent of agriculture) but he was one of the first to write about it in the 20th century. In doing so, he shared the art and joy of foraging with the general public.
I love the chapter on the daylily. Most of you are probably familiar with the daylily, as it is often used in landscaping, as it is a relatively low-maintenance plant. The daylily is unique in that it produces new flowers every day. The golden blossoms open in the morning and close at dusk. Luckily for us, their delightfulness does not end at dusk.
The blossoms of the daylily can be harvested in all three stages of bloom: as a bud, as a flower blossom and as a closed blossom. There are many recipes for each stage, but today I thought that it would be best to focus on the initial stage of the blossom's life cycle; the bud. One of my favorite ways to prepare day-lily buds is to bread them and skillet fry them!
Sauteed Daylily Buds1 egg1/4 cup of flour (or more or less depending on how many little buds you foraged!)Chili powderSaltGarlic Powder1/2 tablespoon of butter
1. Beat egg in a small dish. In another dish, mix flour with other seasonings to taste. Surely you can experiment with different spices and levels of spices. (Just a heads up, the final product tastes similar to a fried zucchini; perhaps this might guide you in the right spice direction!)
2. Dip each bud in the egg, and then in the flour mixture and set aside. In a fry pan, heat butter over medium heat. When all the butter is melted, place the coated buds in the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until the batter is browning.
I've enjoyed buds along side of some "fajita-tacos". With the remaining flour and egg, we blended them together and cooked them in the same pan we used for the buds. Then, we put the eggs in our tortillas with cooked corn, onions, peppers, avocado, cheese and salsa. Delicious!
Because daylilies blossom for most of the summer, I am hoping to experiment with this delightful flower for many dinners to come. Also, in my research of the daylily, I learned that there is food below the surface as well. In fact, the roots of the daylily produce edible portions as well. I will save for another foraging adventure!
Happy eating (and foraging!)