There are many edible things in this world beyond what we find on shelves of the supermarket. Of course, it’s in our nature to only eat things that we know are safe and delicious as instructed by fellow eaters.
Naturally I get excited when someone invites me to taste something that I would never think of eating. Yucca blossoms are one such example.
You know what a yucca plant looks like. It’s that cactus-like shrub that has a tall center stalk which, when in bloom, is adorn with large white blossoms. Well, it turns out those blossoms are edible, and when prepared right, even delicious!
And pretty too! When a friend of mine gave me a big container full of them, I was excited to figure out what to do with these beauties.
My first instinct was to try them raw. They are a lot more fiberous than your average edible flower and have a fairly bitter, green plant flavor. The flavor reminded me a bit of artichokes, which got me thinking…
What if I treated them like marinated artichoke hearts?
Five seconds of google research revealed that I wasn’t the only food blogger in the world to come up with this idea. A confirming recipe was enough of a starting point for me to give this a shot.
A quick blanch in boiling water cut softened both the texture of the flowers, sweetened the flavor, and made them a translucent green-white color.
I marinated them with a little bit fresh-squeezed organic lemon juice and a whole lot of really good olive oil.
I used this Spanish estate olive oil. A bit pricey, but its exquisite flavor did wonders for the yucca blossoms.
These blossoms are great in a salad, but also a fun addition to an antipasti plate. They were featured at my 25 tastes birthday party alongside heirloom tomato slices, bread and sheep’s milk ricotta.
Marinated Yucca Blossoms
- 60 or so yucca blossoms
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup or more of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- fresh thyme
- sea salt
- red pepper flakes
Adapted From Hunger and Thirst
- Wash the yucca blossoms in cold water. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the yucca blossoms about 20 at a time and blanch for 30 seconds. Remove and immediately rince with cold water to halt cooking. Spin dry in a salad spinner.
- In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice and olive oil. Whisk to emulsify. Add the yucca blossoms and toss to coat.
- Put down a layer of yucca blossoms in the bottom of a clean, steril, glass jar. Sprinkle some salt and pepper flakes on top followed by a few slices of garlic and a couple sprigs of thyme. Add another layer of blossoms, salt and thyme and repeat until all the blossoms are in the jar. Pour the remaining oil mixture from the bowl into the jar and then top off the oil in the jar with additional oil until it is just above the top of all of the blossoms.
- Use a chopstick or other utensil to push down the blossoms and release trapped air pockets. Continue this until no more air bubbles are released. Gently tap the jar on the couter to expel any remaining air. Lid the jar an place it in a room temperature cabinet for about a week. Use immediately or refrigerate for further storage. Refrigeration will cause the olive oil to set-up, but it will easily become liquid again at room temperature.