Monday, July 15, 2013

How to Cook Daylilies: Poor Man's Asparagus

(We liked the taste so much, we're making it again this week! Check out the rest of our menu plan.)

My neighbor planted dozens of daylilies. They bloom beautifully all summer long. When we read the book, My Side of the Mountain, the main character is a boy who runs away from home to live in the woods for a year. Daylilies were one of the plants he ate.

I thought it would be fun to try and looked up some recipes. Plenty say the petals make a fine addition to salads. The day-old flowers can also be used for stirfrys. And the buds can be sautéed and taste like asparagus.

Hunt. Gather. Cook author Hank Shaw prepared daylily buds, flowers and tubers. I really enjoyed the breakdown he gives for the preparation and taste of each part of the plant.

I do love plants but hate bugs, so cooking the buds was the most appealing. Poor man's asparagus is another name some use for daylily buds. The bud is tightly closed, so bugs shouldn't get inside.

I picked one bud and cooked it in a little oil. I tasted it and surprise! It tastes like asparagus!!!
The children and I collected about a cup of buds. It's near the end of the season but there were still plenty of buds left. I washed them well. Then I minced about a tablespoon of ginger and mint. I figured ginger should alleviate any side effects from eating these flowers. Ginger is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal and anti-nausea.

I sautéed the ginger and mint a few minutes then added the daylily buds and seasoned with salt and Old Bay. Voila! Poor Man's Asparagus! Even my husband said they were good. I think I'll plant some daylilies too and enjoy this seasonal treat!

Word of Caution: I only know that the regular ORANGE daylilies are safe to eat. So I would NOT try hybrids like these below, especially not the YELLOW daylilies.
This one is mostly yellow with some orange.
This post is linked to Made By You Mondays, Meatless Mondays,

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