Summer is abundance, with gardens overflowing, vegetables and fruits cascading out of their nutrient rich beds and flowers emerging in all their glory. Everything seems to come in waves in my garden - the squashes and beets and rhubarb and chard all ready to be part of my summer meals all at once. Not being one to waste even a single rhubarb stem, the only way I can seem to manage this onslaught of seasonal abundance is to quickly pickle and save the ripeness and sweetness of these summer veggies and enjoy them later in the season. June is the summer solstice, and what better way to celebrate than with a June Pickled Picnic featuring rhubarb and beets from earlier in the season! Continue for recipes!
In early May, when everything is crisp, fresh and bursting with colorful blooms, one of my favorite ways to indulge in this sweet and vibrant bounty is with a shared spring bitters salad. This recipe really takes advantage of the local herbs and greenery that's all around you (or at least making an appearance at your local grocery stores) while providing not only a deliciously fresh and crisp salad, but a digestively supportive light meal to boot! Early spring bitters - such as Dandelion Greens in this case - are slightly bitter and jam packed with good minerals and nutrients. We are often not accustomed to eating bitter foods today (alas!), however not long ago, this was the whole reason people would eat a salad before meals! Salads used to be made of wild bitter greens, freshly picked from the garden and lazily tossed in a bowl, topped with some fresh veggies and a bit of vinegar. Bitter foods are magic -and once you've ventured back to your salad roots with this recipe, you'll soon see why.
Just a subtle bitter taste/sensation on your tongue sends a direct message to your stomach and pancreas to start producing digestive enzymes - the essential components of your digestive system to help break down your food from big pieces (macro-nutrients) into little, more digestible pieces (micro-nutrients). This is why we traditionally would eat a small bitter salad before meals, to help stimulate the production of digestive enzymes so that we could more efficiently break down our meals shortly thereafter. Fast forward several decades, and most bitter foods have been removed completely from the American diet (save coffee, beer and chocolate - the essential modern day "bitter" foods). Yet bitters are some of my favorite types of foods to consume in light, fresh salads because they're so springy and easy to find and make the most delicious additions to these early spring salads! Top with a lightly sweetened apple cider vinegar based salad dressing and you've got a super nutrient dense, delicious, seasonally fresh and detoxifying salad - perfect to share on a breezy spring day.
1 cup fresh dandelion leaves (available at your local grocery store, or right from your backyard), coarsely chopped
1/2 head red romain lettuce, coarsely chopped
10 sprigs fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Add all greens + parsley to a large bowl and top with thinly sliced fennel pieces and shelled pistachios to taste. Serves 4.
Apple Cider Vinegar Dressing:
1/4 cup Flaming Elixir (shown above and available exclusively here) or Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp raw honey (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Mix all ingredients in a small jar and shake well (as often as needed) to mix in the honey. Serve lightly atop your bitters salad for a hint of added sweetness and to stimulate your digestive fire! Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Looking for more ways to eat fresh and seasonally? Check out the Garden to Table series here and follow along on Pinterest!
I'm so excited to introduce you to our newest addition to the Suite One Studio team, Lindsay Kluge of Ginger Tonic Botanicals! Lindsay and I met nearly 15 years ago and immediately bonded on the same first name thing and common interests-- it was 2003; We had a love of bell sleeves, patchouli, and irish music. You know the classic makings of a forever friendship.
Fast forward a decade and a half, Lindsay now holds a Masters in Science in Herbal Medicine, is a licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, and a Certified Nutrition Specialist (learn more here). She's here to share recipes, DIYs, and other plant based amazingness aimed to make our days brighter, tastier, and happier.
When she's not here sharing inspiration, Lindsay runs her own business and site: Ginger Tonic Botanicals. She blends her own herbal teas that you can shop right here. Her first treat for us is a recipe for Lilac Infused Honey and Rosemary Biscuits. All the tasty details from Lindsay below! I hope you'll enjoy! - Lindsay Emery
A truly magical way to preserve springtime fragrant flowers is to infuse them in your favorite honey and indulge in the sweet delicate flower scents for the rest of the year. I love the smell oflilacs in the spring, and they are so short lived when they bloom. Honey is such a beautiful preserver of scents and flavors, and lilac infused honey butter is a decadent ode to the early spring for any occasion. The below recipe for Lilac Infused Honey + Rosemary Drop Biscuits is a perfect quick snack to whip up for a morning gathering shared with friends, or to serve with afternoon tea on the porch.
Lilac Infused Honey:
1 small mason jar
Fresh lilac flowers
Honey of your choice (I used raw wildflower honey)
Pack mason jar full of lilac flowers and slowly pour honey overtop, filling halfway at first. Let the honey settle all the way down to the bottom and then fill honey all the way to the top of the jar, covering the flowers completely. Cover with a lid, and let sit to infuse for 4-5 days. Straining is optional as lilac flowers are edible (but they do smell better than they taste!).
Rosemary Drop Biscuits:
2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp pink salt
1 cup organic buttermilk
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and at room temperature.
1 tbsp raw honey
Preheat oven to 475F. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well. In a smaller bowl, combine the buttermilk, butter and honey and stirwith a fork until the butter has formed into smaller chunks. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir well tocombine with a wooden spoon, stirring just enough to moisten all of the ingredients. Take a lined baking sheet and loosely drop 1/4 cup of the batter on the sheet at a time, leaving about 2 inches between the biscuits. Bake for 13 minutes, until just golden brown on the tops and around the edges.
Serve warm smothered in lilac honey and shared with your favorite people on a bright spring morning.
You can shop all the pretty Suite One Studio porcelain in this exclusive design collection available with Anthropologie here!