Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The beautiful, invasive, edible daylily

Early March new shoots in our yard.

We have lots of them in our yard and are very abundant in our area.

Young spring shoots and leaves under five inches taste similar to mild onions when fried in butter. They are also a mild pain killer and in large quantities can be hallucinogenic.  The leaves quickly become fibrous so they can only be eaten young (but you can make cordage out of the older leaves.)

The flower buds, a rich source of iron, are distinguished from the plant's non-edible fruits by their internal layering. The blossoms are edible as well, raw or cooked (as are seeds if you find any.) The dried flower contains about 9.3% protein, 25% fat, 60% carbohydrate, 0.9% ash. It is rich in vitamin A.  The closed flower buds and edible pods are good raw in salads or boiled, stir-fried or steamed with other vegetables.

The blossoms add sweetness to soups and vegetable dishes and can be stuffed like squash blossoms. Half and fully opened blossoms can be dipped in a light batter and fried tempura style (which by the way was a Portuguese way of cooking introduced to Japan.)

Dried daylily petals are an ingredient in many Chinese and Japanese recipes. Nearly any time of year the nutty, crisp roots can be harvested, but they are best in the fall. They can be eaten raw or cooked.

A good article on the daylily.  The beautiful, invasive, edible daylily

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