There is something so magical about collecting and eating wildflowers that just makes me happy!! How can you not be happy on a cool early summer morning spent outdoors in a field of wildflowers!! And the best thing about the flowers being featured in this edible wildflower salad is the are very likely already growing in your yard! In our yard we’ve got wild pea flowers, Oxeye Daisies, golden California Poppies in bloom right now, and if you don’t have a large yard, you can just as easily collect these flowers in a park or alongside a country road. Just wander in off the road a bit to avoid picking next to the road where they might have sprayed pesticides.
I find the pea flowers to be the most mellow in taste and enjoyable to eat. Second to them would be the Oxeye Daisy leaves for deliciousness, followed by their blossoms for a nice texture. The golden California poppies are pretty bitter, so I only toss a few in for a burst of color, and little pop of bitterness. You can read more about the California Poppy in this post on First Ways.
Pictured below is a field of Oxeye Daisies near Silverton, Oregon. Everywhere I look in June and July in Oregon I see Oxeye Daisies in bloom, including our own yard, all along the country roads, and where the sun breaks through the trees in wooded nature parks.
Below you will see the “spatulated” leaves on the Oxeye Daisy that are edible and totally delicious! At the GingerRoot Rendezvous, taught by Dr. John Kallas, I learned about the edibility of the Oxeye Daisy and how to identify the “spatulated” leaves. You’ll notice the leaves flare out like a spatula on the ends, and at the base of the leaf where it attaches to the steam, there is a little plume that flares out like a tiny flame. For more info see this article on how to identify Oxeye Daisies.
Below you can see a pink sea of wild pea flowers in bloom by the Yamhill River, near my hometown of Willamina, Oregon. We also have pea flowers growing wild in our yard, but I found a much larger bounty of them growing near the river. You can also find them along country roads in the summer. Here is a great article on the edibility of wild pea flowers from Hank Shaw.
Edible Wildflower Salad
- Wildflower Salad:
- 6 cups greens (a mix of salad greens from our garden dandelion leaves, and Oxeye Daisy leaves)
- 3 cups Wild Pea flowers
- 1 cup Oxeye Daisy flowers
- 1/2 cup golden California Poppy flowers
- optional: nasturtiums from the garden wild rose petals, chicory flowers.
- Cherry Pit Dressing:
- 1/4 cup light olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons cherry pit vinegar (flavored with cherry pits see notes)
- 1 teaspoons to 2 wildflower honey
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
Important Note: Not all wildflowers are edible, in fact there are some wild flowers that are toxic, like the tiny white blossoms of the deadly Poison Hemlock plant and the toxic Giant Hogweed plant. Always be 100% sure you have identified the right wild plant to eat and enjoy. See my links above in the article for info on how to properly identify each of these edible wildflowers. Once you know how to identify the edible ones, it becomes fun, safe, and delicious!
Collect wildflowers and greens. I love the flavor of the Oxeye Daisy greens in the salad and add in a large handful of dandelion greens too. If picking the flowers the night before, keep the stems in water, just like you would regular cut flowers, until ready to use. (I actually store them chilled in the fridge too.)
Whisk salad dressing together in a small glass, then toss with salad.
I love the subtle flavors of cherry blossoms that come to life in vinegar when you marinate the cherry pits to make "cherry pit vinegar". See my post for more info on how I make cherry pit vinegar.