Sunday, February 21, 2021

Omelette with cheese and dried cornflower petals


It is winter here and no so many flowers in the garden, but I have plenty of dried cornflower petals, which keep a beautiful blue colour and are fun to use in the kitchen.

For the frittata: beat three free-range eggs with a little water and a pinch of salt. Grease a fryingpan with olive oil and when the oil is hot add the eggs. Spread the mixture well (I make four 'cuts' on the sides to spread the eggs well) and sprinkle with cornflower petals. 

Add a couple of slices of Edam cheese and more petals.

Fold the omelette and then cook for one more minute on each side. Then add a few more petals on top.

Serves two. Yum!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Apple cupcakes with dried flowers


I have a selection of dried petals: blue cornflowers, red petals (a mixture of rose, verbena, dianthus) and orange and yellow (marigold and calendula), ready to add to a cake or cupcakes or muffins.

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes/muffins

4-5 Oratia Beauty apples
40 ml water
10 ml lemon juice
120 g salted butter
3 eggs
130 g sugar
A few drops of pure vanilla essence (optional)
200 g self-rising flour
Dried flowers
For the icing:
100 gr butter
100 g sugar
more dried flowers

Preheat the oven to 175°C. 

Line a 12-muffin tray with cupcakes paper cups.

In the meantime place the water and lemon juice in a mixing bowl, peel and slice the apples and drop them directly into the lemony water.

Melt the butter in a jug, either in the microwave or in the oven (while the oven is warming up for the cupcakes). Place the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk, using an electric beater, until the mixture looks light and pale yellow in colour. Slowly add the melted butter and the vanilla essence, if using.

Keep beating at a low speed now; add half of the flour followed by half of the lemony water from the apples. Add the rest of the flour and water and keep beating making sure that there are no lumps. Add the apples and the dried petals. Divide into the cupcakes paper cups.

Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until golden brown at the top. You can also check by inserting a toothpick into the cupcakes: if it comes out clean the cupcakes are ready. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let them cool down. The icing is optional, I just mixed some melted butter with sugar and used it to top the cupcakes, then sprinkled more dried petals on top. 

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Zucchini with marigold vinegar and marigold fresh petals


This is a delicious starter or side dish. Cut the zucchini in thin long strips and pan fry with olive oil on both sides for just a minute (don't let them brown, they just need to soften). Chop plenty of Italian parsley and garlic with a pinch of salt and add to the zucchini, with a tbsp or two of marigold vinegar (recipe here). If you don't have marigold vinegar just use some white balsamic or white wine vinegar (but consider making marigold vinegar too!). Let the zucchini marinate for at least two hours, more if possible, then lay on a serving platter and sprinkle with fresh marigold petals. Serve at room temperature of chilled.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Marigold Vinegar


Pick the marigolds and shake them well into the garden to save all the insect. Pick a few little tender leaves too.

Next rinse the flowers well: fill the sink with waters and wash the flowers, then repeat several times, until you are sure that there clean. Place them on a clean tea towel to drip and then gently remove all the petals and put them in a clean sterilised mason jar. Add some leaves too and press down well. 

Cover with white wine vinegar and close. Store in a dark place for a few weeks before using. Use as regular aromatic vinegar, for dressing salads etc.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini 


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