More Than Flowers

The great thing about subscribing to Zoe’s is the immense variety, influenced from all over the world, we see when we open our share boxes. I also love learning what other parts of the plants are edible.  Last year’s bountiful onion scapes proved to be my favorite.  Shungiku (Chrisanthemum leaves) were included in this last week’s large share.  Sometimes finding uses for unfamiliar ingredients may seem daunting, but the internet is a great resource.

While Chrysanthemum flowers are used mostly in Asia for tea, the leaves are often added to a soup at the last minute (as they will turn bitter with too much cooking) and smaller, more tender leaves tossed in salads.  Treat them as you would spinach.  A simple weeknight meal of chicken soup can be made with a store bought chicken or leftovers from a weekend roast chicken.  Adding ginger, soy sauce, and Shungiku changes up the common favorite.
I have several Korean cook books, one truly authentic one that use Shungiku on almost every page, again, in soups.  If you’re adventurous, give the following recipe a try, not forgetting to add the Shungiku and bean sprouts from your share at the end.

Another use is to add at the end to a stir fry or chop suey, served over rice or noodles. 
As a unique appetizer, leaves can be tempura battered and fried as is done in Japan. 
Hope you enjoy cooking with them and let us know how things turn out.

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