Monday, May 4, 2009

Garland chrysanthemum healthy addition to fresh soups and salads

Garland chrysanthemum Chrysanthemum coronarium greens are a traditional addition to chop suey and soup, according to an April 30 article by Vern Nelson in The Oregonian, "Get set for chop suey." An annual that grows from 1-4 feet tall, garland chrysanthemum has yellow flowers and, depending on the cultivar, can also have white tips.

For cooking, Nelson recommends these varieties:
  • Broad leaf, which has a mild flavor
  • Maiko, which has a vigorous flavor
  • Round leaf, which has a milder flavor and bi-colored flowers
  • Small leaf, which has serrated leaves
  • Tiger ear, which has a strong flavor and broad leaves
To cook garland chrysanthemum, Nelson suggests you lightly "saute the leaves and stems or whole 4- to 6-inch seedlings with sesame seeds, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Overcooking the leaves causes bitterness."

To also can eat the chrysanthemum raw in salads [like dandelion], add to "soups containing fresh ginger, or dunk in fritter batter and deep-fry." Nelson says that, "You'll detect flavors of carrot, celery, and juniper in round-leaved cultivars, and mesclun in most cultivars. The species and serrate-leaved varieties have a stronger, sometimes bitter finish [...]. The petals of all varieties have less flavor but look great in salads. The seeds can be sprouted and used in sandwiches or as salad."

To read the complete article, including tips for planting garland chrysanthemum, care, and harvest, click here.

© Nelson, Vern. The Oregonian, "Get set for chop suey." April 30, 2009.

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