I have talked about those old fashioned orange flowered Daylily’s before. I love to harvest their flowers for both fresh eating and to dry them for year round use. I have talked about harvesting the tiny but bursting flavour of the spring or fall roots that can be harvested.
However I have not shared about eating the first early spring leaves. I do not like to harvest leaves on my own plants here on the farm. I am after them growing as fast as possible to get to the point of giving me the flower buds for eating.
So that means that I like to Forage for these plants off the farm, and thankfully a number of farmers have huge patches of these growing in ditch lines or at fields edges or forest edges. Yesterday after walking around my own yard shaking my head as the fact that not much was ready at all.
We headed off the farm and did a forage harvest of Daylily Leaves, I like to get them when the plants are between four to six inches high, I will harvest up to 8 inches high but not above that. I picked 2 cups chopped worth for the coming dish.
Now that you have them, what is the best way to introduce them to yourself or your family? I melted a bit of butter, put 1 diced big clove of garlic in the pan and added the washed, chopped Day lily leaves on med heat and cooked them till bright green and wilted nicely.
I added 4 cups of rice to this (I had cold rice in the fridge but you could use freshly cooked rice as well) I put a sprinkle of salt, pepper and to taste soy sauce. The taste of the daylily’s is to me at least a mix of celery-mild leeks. It is very good, hubby eat his with a smile.
We finished this rice dish with pulled BBQ rabbit on it, Chicken would of course works as well if you do not have access to rabbit. I think any firmer white meat would work nicely with this rice.
Now I need to do the safety talk.. Do not use unknown lily leaves, you must know that they are the original old fashion orange day lilies for safety. When eating a new food, always try a small amount of it for the first time and then wait 24 hours to see if you have any reaction to it. Increase amounts only once you are sure that is safe to eat for you! While Daylily is considered safe, some people can react to it. Always treat new food to the safety test please.