The Feisty Forager: Violets
March Madness — Day 15
A sure sign that spring is in the air is the appearance of the first purply blue common violet flower, directly following the emergence of its heart-shaped leaf.
There are between 400 and 500 species of violets worldwide, spanning colors from blue, yellow, white, purple, to orange, gentian, and burgundy.
Happily, for the hungry forager, both leaves and flowers of all species are edible, and make a delightful addition to any salad or ornament to any dish. The leaves are somewhat bitter, but when picked young and tender are especially pleasing to the palate. The flowers are only lightly flavorful, and can be coated in egg white and sugar to decorate cakes and other confections.
Considered a good blood cleanser, respiratory remedy, and lymphatic stimulant, as well as being a a symbol of love and fertility, violets are rich in both vitamin A and vitamin C.
Harvest mindfully and share with a friend or loved one!
This article is one of a month-long series of foraged treasures. For more recipes from the field and forest, check out Appalachian Appetite: Recipes from the Heart of America.