I will always try a recipe that calls for fresh flowers on top. This year I have experimented with elder, dandelion, lavender, and chamomile when cooking. You can find numerous ideas on-line that feature those herbal blooms. There is also a long tradition of using those plants in foods like desserts. Calendula is not something I would think to use as an ingredient. Herbalists are more likely to use it externally. I was pleasantly surprised to find this recipe. Not only does it help me to use up all the excess calendula I have growing this year but it made a very tasty vegan paella.
Vegan Paella with Calendula Blossoms
Heat a large pan on high for five minutes. Turn the heat down to low.
Add 2 TBSP of olive oil
2 cups of arborio rice
Stir and toast lightly for 2 minutes.
3 cups of Water
1 cup of white wine
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 dried bays leaves
1/2 tsp of dried turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp of smoke paprika
1/2 tsp of red chile flakes
Continue to stir continually for five minutes.
Cover with a lid and let simmer for 15-30 minutes until all the water is absorbed and rice is tender. You can stir occasionally to make sure the rice is not sticking to the pan. Add more water if necessary.
2 TBSP of olive oil
1 cup pf broccoli coarsely chopped
‘1 cup of mushrooms coarsely choped
1/2 large onion coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of yellow squash coarsely chopped
1 medium red or green pepper coarsely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
Remove bay leaves
Add and stir in
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1 cup of cherry tomatoes quartered
1/2 tsp of dried thyme
1/2 tsp of dried marjorum
1/2 tsp of dried oregano
Remove from heat and serve immediately
Garnish with 10 fresh calendula flowers (petals removed) divided among the plates.
When used internally this herb is thought to clear phlegm, toxins, chronic infection and inflammation. It stimulates white blood cell production and inhibits the growth of several micro organisms. Herbalists have used calendula to treat candida, , ulcers, gingivitis, stomach/digestive issues, gastritis, swollen lymph nodes, herpes, painful periods, childhood illnesses, and stimulate the immune system. I use the dried flowers a lot in electuaries and glycerites to support health during the winter.
Have you ever used calendula flowers when cooking?