One of the highlights of Spring was this giant wisteria fearlessly climbing fences, loaded with its lavender clusters of flowers. That was in Dallas, off the main road. In Lebanon, in the mountains, wisterias explode that time of year as well. I would snap shots of them every year, hoping that somehow the blooming period would last longer than just a few weeks.
Did you know that wisteria petals are edible? It appears that they are! (Cuisinons les Fleurs, Pierrette Nardo and online on this site). The leaves and seeds are however toxic. In China, I hear they are steamed and eaten with soya sauce or as fritters, sweet or savory. In Pierrette Nardo’s book on edible flowers, her recipe was a salad of hearts of palm, wisteria petals, soy sauce and Chinese chives. My version: some carrots, and a cider vinegar and olive oil dressing. The taste of these petals is as delicate as the flowers, almost sweet.
To see how they are plucked, click here.
5 or 6 wisteria clusters
4 large carrots, boiled or steamed and sliced
1/2 cup fava beans or butter beans or peas
Dressing: 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 3 tablespoon olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste
Garnish with fennel or dill (I used some wild fennel abundant this time of year here)
1. Pluck the flowers and discard the seeds, stems and leaves. Place all the salad ingredients on a plate. Whisk the vinegar and oil and add seasoning. Pour over the salad. Serve.