Sombreuil Climbing Rose 1850

Recipe Archive

No-Knead Technique for Artisan Bread

Here you will find the approximation of how to make this bread since, as yet, I do not have permission to publish the actual recipe to my blog.  The recipe/technique was originally called "No-Work Bread" by Jim Lahey, owner of the Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC.  It can be found in Mark Bittman's book How To Cook Everything

After combining the basic bread ingredients (flour, yeast and water - that takes 2 minutes)  The dough is then transferred to a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and covered to rest and rise for 18 hours!  This is a slow fermentation of a wet dough.  You virtually get to forget about it. 

After the first rise you fold it twice.  No Knead!  It rises a second time for 2 hours and then into the hot pot in the oven.  When you preheat the oven, about 1/2 hour before baking, you place a 3-4 quart covered pot in to heat as well.  As you can see from the photo I used an enameled cast iron pot. 

The lid is left on for only the first 30 minutes and continues to bake to a golden brown for 20-30 minutes more.  Just couldn't get any easier.  I recommend playing with the recipe after you bake the first loaf.  There are many ingredients that you can add to make it a stand alone loaf...herbs, fruit, nuts, spices, cheese, even cottage cheese!  Come to think of it Garlic Blue Cheese Dip would be scrumptious on this bread.

One important caveat...plan ahead.  All of the steps take 23 1/2 - 24 hours on the clock.  Your actual active time is probably less than 15 minutes including clean up!  Start your bread 24 hours before you plan to serve it.  The hardest part was waiting for the loaf to cool and remove from the baking pot for10 minutes after baking.  Then waiting for 30 minutes for it to cool before slicing was the second agony.  Note to self... plan to be busy during that 40 minutes of torture.

Garlic Blue Cheese Dip

Making and refrigerating this a day ahead brings out the fullness of the garlic and mellows the blue cheese

1 cup (4oz wt) Crumbled Blue Cheese
1 Cup Mayonnaise (homemade aioli if you have it)
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tblsp Sugar
1/2 Cup Cream or 1/2 milk + 1/2 cream
2 cloves Garlic or more can you ever have too much
Whisk all together and let rest in covered container in the fridge for 24 hours. Dip is a lovely sepia color due to the balsamic vinegar.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring Artichokes Steamed

This recipe is very loosely written. There are no hard rules or measurements. It assumes that you have a steamer insert but it is not necessary, though inserts are inexpensive and readily available. This recipe could accommodate 1-4 artichokes. Be sure to choose tight, firm, round artichokes for the most meat.


Prepare a bowl of water large enough to cover your artichokes

Select, quarter and squeeze 1 juicy big lemon into the water

Reserve the lemon quarters to put in the steamer pot

Cut stem of artichoke as close to bottom as you can go so that artichoke can sit flat.

Remove bottom four leaves by pulling them off

With the tip of a knife slice an "x" in bottom

Cut off the top ¼ of the artichoke

Trim leaves by cutting the sharp pointed tip of each leaf off. Kitchen scissors work well for this

Soak the artichokes in the bowl of fresh squeezed lemon water for about 1 hr to help preserve color


Add water to just below the steamer insert

Remove steamer insert

Add to the water 1 tablespoon each of dried Tarragon and Basil, or more!

When the water is boiling place the artichokes top side down on the steamer

Add squeezed lemon quarters

Steam in pot ~ 30 minutes or until a knife slides easily into the bottom and leaves are easily pulled off.


Who ever was the first person to think they'd try eating a thistle, as the artichoke is, thank you for thinking outside the box! There's something so simple yet special about the artichoke...the time and care of prepping. Then pulling the meat off of each leaf with your teeth. The care we take to cut out the choke to get to the heart. Aahh! The heart of the artichoke, your sublime reward. Delicious with the scent of tarragon and basil permeating it's flesh.

But I've been known to use a "dipping sauce". My favorite dipping sauce is garlic aioli with tarragon but I guess that's not the healthiest alternative! My other favorite is to add fresh pressed garlic and a little squeeze of fresh lemon to butter and melt it until fragrant. But I guess that too is off the health-o-meter. So for a change from the usual mayo or butter dipping sauce I'm going to Martha Stewart and try her Vinegar Shallot Dipping Sauce.

Happy Spring!

Posted by Anne E at 9:23 AM


We take no responsibility for any ill effects caused by the ingestion of rose petals or any other flower.  I am not an authority on edible flowers.  It is important to remember that powerful drugs are made from herbs and flowers, all natural yet potentially lethal.  I am simply passing on the common sense that I use when creating anything that I eat.  My recipes are only for my roses.

One very important thing that you need to remember is that not every flower is edible. In fact, sampling some flowers can make you very, very sick.   Identify the flower exactly and eat only edible parts of edible flowers.

Most importantly in all of these rose recipes, is that the flowers must be totally organic.  I do not knowingly eat foods with any of the following and I do not recommend that you do.

NO synthetic fertilizers! NO compost or fertilizer that uses animal by products from animals fed hormones or antibiotics. NO pesticides! NO Herbicides! NO after Cutting Preservatives

Roses or other flowers that have been grown with or sprayed with chemicals are not suitable for food use.

IMPORTANT - Some dos and don'ts!

Following are some simple guidelines to keep in mind before you eat any type of flower:

Eat flowers only when you are positive they are edible. If uncertain, consult a good reference book on edible flowers prior to consumption.   I am not that reference.

Just because flowers are served with food does not mean they are edible. It's easy and very attractive to use flowers for garnish on plates or for decoration, but avoid using non-edible flowers this way. Many people believe that anything on the plate can be eaten. They may not know if the flower is edible or not and may not ask.

Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries or garden centers. In many cases these flowers have been treated with pesticides not labeled for food crops. After growth they may even be subjected to substances that enhance their water uptake and longevity, substances that should not be eaten.

All edible flowers, even organically grown, should be well washed before using as they may have bird or insect dropping on them.

Introducing Flowers Into Your Diet:

If you have allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may aggravate some allergies
Try them in small quantities one species at a time. Too much of a good thing may cause problems for your digestive system. Remember gorging on a favorite sweet as a child? Remember the ensuing stomach ache? Same thing here. All things in moderation. Always remember to use flowers sparingly in your recipes due to the digestive complications that can occur with a large consumption rate. Most herb flowers have a taste that's similar to the leaf, but spicier.

Choosing and Picking Edible Flowers:
Do not eat flowers picked from the side of the road. Once again, possible herbicide use eliminates these flowers as a possibility for use.  When gardening, I NEVER use pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals on any part of any plant that produces blossoms I plan to eat.  In your garden, if you believe pesticides and herbicides are absolutely necessary, use only those products labeled for use on edible crops. The Garden Guy, Eliot Coleman and Arbico Organics are good resources for how to garden without endangering your health.

Pick your flowers in the morning when their water content is at its highest.
Other edible flowers to consider learning about are lavender  buds, violas petals, lemon balm flowers, sage flowers, oregano flowers, marigold petals, nasturtium blossoms, and thyme flowers.

Cleaning Edible Flowers:
Shake each flower to dislodge insects hidden in the petal folds. Separate the pistils and stamens from the flower just prior to use to avoid wilting and minimize shrinking.  After having removed the stamen and pistils, wash the flowers under a fine jet of water or in a strainer placed in a large bowl of water. Drain and allow to dry on absorbent paper. The flowers will retain their odor and color providing they dry quickly and that they are not exposed to direct sunlight.   For most flowers, eat only the flower petals. Be sure to remove the bitter white portion of the petals

Extending Usability of Edible Flowers:

Place petals on moist paper towel and place together in a hermetically-sealed container or in plastic wrapping. This way, certain species can be preserved in the refrigerator for some 10 days. If the flowers are limp, they can be revitalized by floating them on icy water for a few moments; don't leave too long or else they will lose some of their flavor.
You may also store the whole flower in a glass of water in the refrigerator overnight. You will note the flowers are plumper and firmer the next morning after rehydrating.

Now that we've reminded ourselves of common sense to use when cooking with flowers, let's get on with the fun.

The concept of using fresh edible flowers in cooking is not new. As with many other home cooking techniques after WWII, flowers fell out of favor with the loss of the home garden due to the inception and ease of boxed and frozen foods, fast food restaurants and the microwave. With the return of interest in eating fresh and local (as local as your own garden) the interest in incorporating flowers in food is regaining popularity.  When I use flowers I am going for a very light and delicate addition.  Almost as those you have the delicate scent of the rose or lavender as you eat the food, not quite tasting but yet it is in your mouth.

In the Middle East cooking with roses is much more common. As you browse in a Middle Eastern market you will note rose water is sold. Rose water can be used in many dishes.  If you are intrigued but unsure of where to start, visit Chef Tracey Dempsey at the Old Town Farmers Market and try her rose or lavender marshmallows!  She also makes rosebud and lavender shortbread, my personal fav! Go early as when they are available they sell out.

Rose flavors depend on type, color, and soil conditions. Flavors can be reminiscent of strawberries, green apples, or pepper. Taste may be sweet, with subtle undertones ranging from fruit to mint to spice. All roses are edible, with the flavor being more pronounced in the darker varieties. The miniature varieties can garnish ice cream and desserts, or larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads. Freezing them in ice cubes and floating them in punches adds a beautiful touch. Petals can be used in syrups, jellies, perfumed butters baked goods,sauces and sweet spreads.

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