Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Edible Summer Flowers

~Tomato Arugula Tart Recipe

Tomato Arugula Pupu Tarts
Makes 10 tarts

2 refrigerated prepared pie crust, cut into 10-3inch discs
8 ounces Puna goat cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tabelspoons thyme leaves, de-stemmed and minced
3 tablespoons Macadamia nut oil
1 pint tomatoes (such as cherry, pear or heirloom) cut in half
1 cup arugula flowers or nasturtiums, cilantro flowers and kale flowers for garnish

Preheat oven to 400F.
Bring pie crusts to room temperature. Gently unroll the crusts on a lightly floured board. Cut into
10-3 inch discs with a cookie cutter and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Prick each disc
well with a fork and bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. When done, remove the pan from
oven and let cool completely on a cookie rack.
Place goat cheese, basil, thyme and oil in a small bowl and stir well with a spatula to combine the ingredients. Divide the goat cheese mixture among the baked shells, lightly spreading the mixture with a spatula, being careful not to break them. Press the halved tomatoes into the goat cheese and garnish each with the arugula flowers or any edible flowers.

The Garden of Eating

By Dahlia Haas
Photography and Food Styling by Dahlia Haas and Nurit Aeina

Around this time last year, my vegetable garden morphed into a crazy display of vegetables and herbs gone wild. Almost everything I planted in early spring and late winter burst into flower and seed. Waist high arugula, topped with bushy pale white flowers grew with abandon. Broccoli plants, hid under pillows of sweet yellow broccoli flowers. Towering tumbleweeds of flowering cilantro marked the corners my garden making a natural fence.

This year, I have a new attitude. I’m creating summery recipes with the micro flowers sprouting from the culinary herbs and vegetables. The Hibachi Shrimp Salad, redolent of guava and mild garlic is startlingly beautiful garnished with sprigs of lavender society garlic. In fact, toss colorful edible blossoms such as nasturtiums and the flowers from Mexican tarragon and cilantro along with pale blue borage flowers and sunny calendula petals into all your salads. With so many herbs woven through each recipe, the flavors will surprise you. Tomato Arugula Pupu Tarts made with thyme and basil scented Puna goat cheese, topped with local multi-colored small tomatoes and sprinkled with sweet arugula flowers, are as pretty as wedding bouquets.

Like bright pearls, the orange blossom on the citrus trees is the driving force behind Orange Blossom Doughnuts. Drizzled with warm lavender honey they are easy to make using a cream puff dough recipe. This dessert is not complete without a long, tall Caramel Kona Coffee Float. Pass these around at your next party! After all, who doesn’t love fresh homemade doughnuts and a fancy coffee!

Sturdy and abundant the island tropical, heliconia, antherium, orchid and ginger are clearly the kings and queens of the flower kingdom. In my world of food, the tiny buds and edible flowers that show up in my summer garden will not be taken for granted anymore. However small and delicate, these gems have moved up to grace these eye catching recipes.


  1. I'm normally not a fan of flowers as garnish/decorations on food, but that looks pretty good...and edible, you say?

    I assume you grew the arugula in your garden.

  2. I had an article due for Edible hawaiian islands magazine and the subject was Edible Flowers.. Believe me, I was pampering those budding flowers and food styling early on, I had to have the perfect shot so I worked it pretty much all summer! One day the gardener chopped most of the buds off, Ok I was pretty bummed, I had the shot I needed!