I don’t know if I mentioned, but I love discovering recipes online. I am always, ALWAYS, looking for new food ideas. However, it frustrates me to no end when I have to scroll through an interminably chatty, photo-filled blog post before I can find the actual recipe itself.
To that end: here is a recipe for stuffed daylilies, and all the photos will come after. (No interminable chattiness though … sorry … not what I do.) Also, I am sorry it doesn’t “look” like a recipe with fancy “Print This” or “Pin This” buttons. While I recently upgraded my WordPress account for a custom domain name, that upgrade didn’t include the option for plugins. Someday!
Serves: 2 as a side dish, or 5 as an appetizer
10 daylily flowers, washed and insides removed
1 c ricotta cheese
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
1 c tapioca flour, or more as needed
1 egg white
1/2 c ice cold sparkling water (or any fizzy beverage – try sparkling apple cider or beer), or more as needed
pinch of salt
Mix cheeses and Italian seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon a portion of the cheese mixture into each daylily flower, and carefully tie the ends closed.
Once all the daylilies are stuffed, heat the oil in a high-sided pan. Once the oil is hot, mix the batter. The batter consistency should be thin, but still thick enough to coat the flowers. If it seems to thin add more tapioca flour; if too thick, add more sparkling water.
Dip the flowers completely in the batter, then carefully add to hot oil. Only batter as many flowers as will fit, uncrowded, in the pan at one time. Turn the heat down if it looks like the flowers are browning too fast. After a few minutes, use tongs to flip the flowers to cook the other side. (The exact time will depend on the heat of the oil.) Let the second side cook until the color is even. Move the fried flowers a paper towel-lined plate while you fry the remaining flowers.
Serve with dipping sauce of choice. We like marinara, but tempura sauce or a mustard sauce would have been excellent as well. (But not ketchup. Please not ketchup.) Also, be careful not to eat the cord holding the flowers closed. Like I might’ve. Accidentally. Twice. Although it’s apparently not fatal if you do, because I am still here!
STANDARD FORAGING DISCLAIMER: Only harvest wild foods from safe locations, free of pesticides or any pollution from vehicles or heavy equipment. Additionally, always introduce new foods slowly. Some people experience gastric upset when eating daylilies, though that is more common with the tubers than the flowers.
Now, for the photos.
This is the patch of daylilies I harvested from. Each flower blooms for only one day (hence the name) so you will not hurt the plants by picking ones which are currently open.
Rinse the flowers thoroughly, and gently remove the stamen and pistil from the center of each flower.
Make sure you stuff all the flowers before starting the batter. In fact, the frying oil should be heated first as well. That way, as few bubbles as possible dissipate before you use the batter. The bubbles create the very light, airy texture of the fried batter.
Do not overcrowd the daylilies in the pan. You need enough room to turn them.
This is what stuffed daylilies look like when you are not a food stylist, nor very practiced at frying. (Speaking of being ashamed to share your imperfections…) Some day I’ll get better at staging food (and cooking food!) and replace this picture with a very pretty one.
They tasted much better than they look, I promise!