Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nira in Bloom and Stars in My Miso















I couldn't resist letting a few of my nira (Japanese garlic chives) go to flower. As I've mentioned before, I have felt a real dearth of color and vibrancy in the garden this year. The west bed where perennials and overflow plants go is also where I do some experimenting. Purchased on something of a whim this spring, I popped them in there and have been slowly savoring them for about two weeks. (The farmers report they are a main ingredient in gyoza, fried chinese pork dumplings that are tastier than should really be legal.)

I still happily cut them for their tasty green leaves (visible below the blooms in the above photo) in salad or miso, and now I add the flowers to both as well. The blossoms look like floating stars, and have a pungent flavor all their own, too. What's better than pretty food? Eating it, of course!

5 comments:

Lisa Ueda said...

German garlice chives are some of my favorite early summer flowers. I love the look of the purple flowers right before they bloom. It's funny how many times I've had people comment on them "Oooh what are those??" They may reseed a bit, but there so distinctive they're easy to identify and use. Alliums are such great underrated plants.

Linny said...

So lovely!

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

Lisa, those sound fantastic. I'll have to look for a picture. They'd perhaps be a nice addition to that west bed. Edible AND pretty is always good, if you ask me!

Linny, many thanks! I feel quite lucky both in the garden and when it comes to miso and salad. These are some of the best!

~fer said...

I have never tried the flowers, but i must. Also I have heard this plant is great for bees and butterflies, i want to try it next year.

Joan Lambert Bailey said...

You are quite right, Fer. They love it. That has been a very pleasant surprise. It's quite easy to grow, and a number of them usually come in a single pot. I've noticed that they are still available at many nurseries, so you may be able to add them to your collection this fall yet.