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.

Lindsay-Jean 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.