Fresh Herb and Edible Flower Salad with Hibiscus Champagne Vinaigrette

This is my new favorite summer Edible Flower Salads, if there could be just one.  The salad’s vibrant colors are so beautiful and the herbs make it extremely flavorful.  The blueberries add a subtle note of sweetness and the chevre cheese perfectly compliments the zesty hibiscus dressing.

Edible Flower Salad

This weekend Robby and I were invited to our friend’s Swedish midsummer party.  The theme was very appropriate for me as I am a quarter Swedish.  The party invite was last minute, so I didn’t have time to make something elaborate.  However, I did make my cilantro asiago pesto, which was a huge hit.

 It was a small group of great people having great conversation and lots of laughs.

For starters we had a lot of wine, champagne, Swedish meatballs, cheese, bread, crackers, grapes and pesto.  For dinner, we sat outside on their deck, which was lovely.  There was skirt steak, new potatoes, local grilled corn, asparagus, kale salad and bread with pesto.  Everything was delicious!  I would have loved to been able to bring this salad if I had more notice.  Next time, I will.  There is nothing better than hanging with good friends enjoying great conversation, food and wine!

Fresh-Herb-Salad-with-Hibiscus-Vinaigrette

This salad pairs well with a Rosé, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.

Herb-Salad-with-Hibiscus-Vinaigrette

Hibiscus-Vinegar-and-Dressing

Edible Flower Salad Recipe:

4 – 6 servings

Hibiscus Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Dried Hibiscus Flowers
  • 1 Bottle Champagne Vinegar (I used 12.7 oz. Napa Valley Naturals)
Hibiscus Champagne Vinaigrette
  • 1/3 Cup Hibiscus Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Small Shallots or 1 Tablespoon – minced
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove or 1 Teaspoon – minced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
 Salad
  •  1/2 Cup Toasted Hazelnuts  – toasted
  • Hibiscus Vinaigrette – to taste
  • 1/2 Pound Mixed Baby Greens
  • 1/2 – 1 Cup Edible Flowers
  • 1 Cup Fresh Basil – chiffonade – roughly chopped – or torn
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Mint – chiffonade – roughly chopped – or torn
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Chives – thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Dill – minced
  • 1 Cup Blueberries
  • 1 Basket Yellow Cherry Tomatoes – cut in half
  • 1 – 8 oz. Chevre Goat Cheese
Instructions:
 Vinegar

Prepare this 4 days to a week ahead.  Add the hibiscus flowers to a jar and pour the vinegar over the hibiscus.  Let sit for 4 days to a week.  (I did a week) Strain into another jar.  Save the hibiscus soaked flowers for other recipes. (I have one coming soon)

Hazelnuts

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 – 14 minutes.  In about 5 – 7 minutes stir the nuts so they toast evenly while also checking on the progress.

When hazelnuts are cool put in the center of a towel and pull corners of the towel together and roll hazelnuts around with some force till skins come loose.  A small amount of skin will remain on the nuts and that is fine.

Sometimes I separate the ones that the skins didn’t come off and put them back in the oven for a few more minutes.

 When cool grind them in a food processor until fairly fine.

Vinaigrette

While the nuts are toasting, make the vinaigrette.

In a bowl of a blender or food processor, add the hibiscus vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper.  Turn on the blender/food processor and slowly add the oil.  (Or, add ingredients to a bowl and puree using an immersion blender.)  Mince the shallot and garlic, and whisk them into the vinaigrette.  Set aside.

Salad

Add the mixed greens, edible flowers, basil, dill and mint to a large bowl and toss.

Add slice the green onions, blueberries and tomatoes to the bowl.

 Crumble the cheese with a fork and add to the bowl or onto individual salads.

Add nuts and dressing to individual salads.

Fresh-Herb-and-Greens-Salad-with-Hibiscus-Vinaigrette

Health benefits:

Hibiscus Flowers is a simple way to increase your antioxidant intake due to the high vitamin C content.  The antioxidant properties can help reverse the inflammatory process in your body and has the ability to lower high blood pressure.  It protects against chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.  It helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol from the body, therefore it helps protect against heart disease and blood vessels from damage.

Blueberries are high in Vitamin C. They are a super food and are one of the highest in antioxidants compared to most fruits. They are a great source of fiber. The fiber helps reduce abdominal fat, lower cholesterol and helps lower glucose. They are great for brain health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and they are known to heal damaged brain cells. So they help you keep your memory intact.

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