April 19, 2018
Origin. While Magnolias are normally considered a southern flower - the variety with pure white leaves and a sweet, fragrant smell is the state flower of Mississippi - all types of Magnolias grow across the US. Here in New York where the GROW team lives, we can find what's commonly known as Chinese Magnolia which, confusingly, has its origins in France. It was originally bred as a cross between two different Magnolia strains by the French plantsman Etienne Soulange-Bodin, a retired cavalry officer in Napoleon's army, at his château near Paris in 1820.
Growing. Magnolias today are rarely found growing wild, but rather are planted as ornamental trees in gardens and parks across the country.
Flavor. The flower tastes just like it smells and pairs beautifully with toasted sesame seeds and soy. Any roasted vegetables that taste great with ginger will also taste great with pickled magnolia: beets, carrots, sugar snaps, broccoli, celeriac, cucumber... which can actually all can be grown in the GROW Duo.
Cooking. Magnolia flowers are fantastic on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, added to cold noodles, used on tacos, added to salads and more. Pair with fresh cheeses and in dishes that would work nicely with ginger. Below is a tutorial on how to pickle Magnolia blossoms.
1. Step into your garden or ask your neighbor nicely.
2. Separate the petals
3. Blanch in salt water
4. Shock in ice water then drain
and put into a sterile canning jar
5. Make the pickling liquid with
1.5 cups rice vinegar ...
6. 1 cup of sugar ...
7. And 2 tsp salt
8. Bring the pickling liquid to a boil then pour it into
the pickling jar with the drained Magnolia petals