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It's almost time for violets!

meatn3 Mar 4, 2011 04:45 PM

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?

  1. todao Mar 4, 2011 05:46 PM

    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
      meatn3 Mar 6, 2011 01:38 PM

      Would love to hear more about the dessert!

    2. wekick Mar 4, 2011 07:18 PM

      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
        j
        jvwool Mar 6, 2011 11:53 AM

        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. m
        mickeygee Mar 4, 2011 10:02 PM

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

        1. m
          morwen Mar 5, 2011 05:45 AM

          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
            meatn3 Mar 6, 2011 02:04 PM

            The dianthus sounds intriguing - what is the flavor like?

            1. re: meatn3
              m
              morwen Mar 6, 2011 02:26 PM

              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. n
            nemo Mar 5, 2011 06:01 AM

            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. meatn3 Mar 5, 2011 08:25 PM

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

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

              1. chefathome Mar 6, 2011 08:03 AM

                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. h
                  HillJ Mar 6, 2011 09:38 AM

                  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
                    meatn3 Mar 6, 2011 01:36 PM

                    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
                      h
                      HillJ Mar 6, 2011 01:38 PM

                      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. blue room Mar 6, 2011 02:00 PM

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

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: blue room
                      b
                      Breezychow Mar 6, 2011 02:04 PM

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

                      1. re: blue room
                        m
                        morwen Mar 6, 2011 02:28 PM

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

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