by guest blogger Keriann Koeman, of EcoTulips
Tulip petals taste like sweet lettuce, and some of them end with a peppery flavor note. I suggest trying a number of tulip varieties (organic varieties!) to discover which you prefer and then just pick your favorite colors of that type. After tasting all our varieties, I've chosen the ones I like the best.
The most exciting thing about this salad is all of the color combinations that are possible; it makes for a stunning display and serves as a great conversation starter!
What you need to make the perfect Organic Tulip Salad:
1. Start with some organic greens--a mesclun mix is best, as it adds texture and spice. You can make your own basic mix by adding arugula to your favorite lettuce. I love to mix in whatever fresh herbs are available; dill is one of my favorites for this salad.
2. Top your salads with a colorful array of petals (make sure to wash and rinse off the pollen before serving, to avoid heartburn!). My favorites for salads are the single-petal varieties (I've found the double peony type to be harder to chew), including Purple Prince, Silver Dollar, Menton, and Yellow Flight. Ile de France is sure to be a good choice for adding a splash of red. I suggest conducting your own taste test or contact me for more tasty tulip ideas.
3. For a salad that stands out in both color and taste, I add chèvre (goat cheese), pepitas (pumpkin seeds), finely sliced shallots, dried cherries (cranberries and blueberries also work well), and fresh herbs.
4. As for salad dressing, keep it light so you don't lose the complexity of flavors in this salad. A simple blend of balsamic vinegar and olive oil is always nice, or any favorite vinaigrette.
Keriann S. Koeman is the Vice President & Co-Founder of EcoTulips. Started with her husband Jeroen in 2009 when they began importing their first organic bulbs, EcoTulips is the only supplier of organic tulip bulbs in the US. They also host an Organic Tulip Festival every spring where attendees can pick their own blooms from thousands of tulips.
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com