You know I need to learn to keep my mouth shut about some of my more quirky behaviour.
I offhandedly mentioned in an answer to a post on Facebook that I like red carnations to eat---yes. organically grown carnations are edible and I have never known anyone who got sick or was allergic.
I got some email off the record that was pretty harsh-one that said if I had eaten a carnation I would have died-I think that person was confusing carnation with poinsettia both red flowers but one is poison and its NOT the carnation.
SO---here is my carnation salad recipe-just be sure the flowers you use are not full of insecticide-organically home grown are the best and red is the tastiest followed by pink...carnations have a peppery flavour.
I large red carnation-wash carefully, seperate the petels from the green parts gently and use only the bright red, unbruised petels-dry on paper towel
2 heads of butter lettuce carefully washed and dried on paper towels
I can mandarin orange segments packed in Water or juice NOT syrup-drain and dry on paper towels
I pack pine nuts toasted lightly (toasted hazelnuts may be substituted)
3 green/spring (smallish) onions cut in small pieces using the white and about 3 inches of the green "chive" portion of the leaves
I like Girards light Champagne dressing-if that is unavailable any light vinegarette salad dressing but nothing too garlicky or sharp and no dijon in this dressing please
salt and pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: edible flowers like pansie for garnish//also I sometimes add a tablespoon of julienned (fine) yellow bell pepper for colour
METHOD: In a glass salad bowl carefully add the butter lettuce leaves and about half the carnation petels and toss with a light amount of dressing-just to coat the contents
sprinkle in about half the onions and half the nuts and lightly toss again adding perhaps another tablespoon or two of dressing
add the mandarin oranges and toss a final time-add salt and pepper to taste
arrange the remaining ingredients attractivly on top of the salad and serve immediatly.
for a main dish salad add chilled poached boneless, skinless chicken breast (white meat only)diced or torn into small pieces, toss the chicken and the salad seperatly in dressing and arrange on salad plates for service
Lightly toasted buttered bagette slices make a nice accompniment
If available garnish your salad with edible flowers like pansies
This is a wonderful and suprising dish for spring and looks lovely on the table
ALWAYS be sure that edible flowers are free from pesticides and that you are sure they are an edible variety!