Friday, May 22, 2009


Quite some time ago, The Left Over Queen held a giveaway on her site, offering to send some dried daylilies to whomever wanted them and commented first. That lucky lady was me! I soon received my package o' daylilies, along with a lovely little postcard from the Queen. I was excited to try them out in a recipe, but felt absolutely stumped. The baggie of daylilies went into my spice cupboard and has languished there since. Until yesterday, that is.

Let me back up for a moment. What is a daylily, anyway? And what does one do with a daylily, dried or otherwise? These were the very questions that boggled my culinary mind. Daylilies are perennial flowers that are native across Europe and Asia. Not all daylilies are edible, but the non-toxic varieties are often used fresh or dried in Chinese recipes, especially soups. In my Googling for recipe inspiration, the few dishes I found were renditions of hot and sour soup.

But soup season is coming to a close with the advent of spring and -- can you believe it?! -- summer. This week I was seized by a desire to test out these gift flowers, and also by an urge to try some new kitchen concoctions. I have been wanting to try making a dinner frittata for the Best Husband Ever and I for quite some time, but have never managed to actually do it. Then I hatched this recipe and remedied that situation!

This frittata has a subtle Asian flavor, and is also extremely healthy. It is loaded with veggies and protein, with little fat because I used a liquid egg substitute. Feel free to use whole eggs or just whites, and to play around with the veggies. I couldn't really discern much of a flavor from the daylilies, though, so next time I will use more. Despite that, I think the frittata was pretty tasty. Let me know what you think!

Far-Out Far-East Frittata

1 T garlic
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
dash of red pepper flakes
6 daylilies
non-stick cooking spray

4 eggs (or 1 cup egg substitute)
2-3 cups chopped vegetables (I used broccoli, red bell pepper, mushrooms, and mandarin oranges, and would recommend throwing in some water chestnuts if you have them)

If using dried daylilies: Thirty minutes before you begin cooking, place the dried daylilies in a bowl of water. Be sure that they are entirely immersed. Soak for the thirty minutes, then remove the stems and cut them into your desired size (I cut mine into halves and thirds).

Cover a large pan with cooking spray, then set over medium heat. Saute the vegetables, garlic, and daylilies. As the vegetables begin to get tender, add the soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Stir, cooking for 1-2 more minutes.

Pour the eggs into the pan, being sure to quickly distribute the vegetables evenly across the surface. Allow the eggs to set, occasionally lifting the edges once they are firm enough and allow the liquid egg to flow underneath. When the bottom of the frittata begins to brown and the liquid egg fully cooked to your preferred density, remove the pan from the heat. Cut in half and serve plain or with your favorite ketchup or sauce (I used ginger peanut sauce and it was perfection!).

Serves 2 (or one, if you're extra hungry!).

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