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It's almost time for violets!

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This is the year I will finally be ready to try to do something with violets!

Each year they come and go so fast that by the time I think of a project its too late.

Candied, syrup, vinegar or petals scattered about - how do you use them?

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  1. We use them as garnish for salads and desserts. We have a gelatin based dessert that tastes wonderful but is a bit difficult to plate with any WOW factor. Violets help make a dramatic presentation ...

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      Would love to hear more about the dessert!

    2. We used them on our wedding cake 30 years ago. I dried them in sand or sugar, I can't remember which, painted them with egg whites and dusted with sugar.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wekick

        Your cake must have looked beautiful! When I was a young my mom would dust violets with sugar and put them on homemade vanilla ice cream. It was so creative--my sisters and I loved it.

      2. A few years ago I had violet ice-cream with chocolate chunks. Sooooo good. Never cooked with them myself though.

        1. I've planned an assault on violets this year too! I'm also putting in Johnny Jump Ups and violas. Last year I candied dianthus and was so charmed with them that I'm getting ready to set up an edible flower bed/area. Dog roses also translate well to candied, syruped and vinegared, and as long as you don't strip the flowers entirely for that purpose they put out very nice rose hips in the fall for other edible goodies!

          2 Replies
          1. re: morwen

            The dianthus sounds intriguing - what is the flavor like?

            1. re: meatn3

              I used them and lemon balm leaves as decoration on a cheesecake and by the time I got a slice they were all gone! I can only assume that they had a clove-like taste based on their scent.

          2. Here's a link to violet jelly. I've never made it, but I did give purchased jars as Christmas gifts one year. I like that this recipe strains the petals out because the purchased jars had a few violets suspended in them and they had shriveled up and looked like little bugs! I also like that the end note suggests using the same recipe for other herbs. I'm guessing this is a very delicate flavor, and the color is just lovely.

            http://www.prairielandherbs.com/viole...

            1. This link to the American Violet Society has a number of recipes:

              http://americanvioletsociety.org/Cook...

              1. In our climate we don't get violets until late May or early June. I like to use them frozen individually in ice cubes to add to limencello, lemonade or rosemary juice. So lovely!

                1. 1 cup sea salt, the peel from 1/2 grated lemon, palm full of violets and a dash of grated black pepper kept in a jar and used on fresh fish all summer long!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: HillJ

                    Do you cook with it or use it once the fish has been prepared? Sounds like a terrific item to have on hand!

                    1. re: meatn3

                      Depends on the fish and how I'm preparing it. For grilling, after. For poaching, during.
                      I also like the combo on scrambled eggs, just sprinkled over top.
                      Also yummy on grilled fruit like peaches, watermelon.
                      I'm going to try it on grilled pizza next time.

                      But, I keep a jar of it on hand until I run out and then make a new batch when I can nab some violets.

                  2. It's OK to use violets that just appear in my lawn?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: blue room

                      Wild violets are edible, but won't have the same appearance, scent, flavor as the cultivated varieties.

                      1. re: blue room

                        Look for old fashioned varieties with lots of scent if you're going to plant them.