Did you know that violets, the pretty purple flowers that dot many a yard, are edible? And that all parts of the plant have many medicinal uses, as well?

Violet flowers appear in early spring and are often found along forest edges. According to the book Wild Medicinal Plants by Amy Schneider, they also appreciate soil that is rich in clay (which explains why they grow happily on my property).

I love using herbs and edible plants like violets in my kitchen. When candied/crystallized, violets make a wonderful decoration for cakes and other desserts, but most of the time I just grab some of the flowers and throw them in spring salads, like this one. The violets have a very mild taste, and they boost the vitamin/mineral content of an already nutritious salad even higher.

If you don’t have access to violets, this is still a tasty salad without them. And feel free to swap out any of the ingredients for what you have on hand, or use a vinaigrette instead of the sweet yogurt dressing.

Spinach Salad with Blood Oranges, Pistachios, and Violets

Adapted from the Violet Vision Salad that appears in Healing Wise by Susun Weed
Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the salad:

*4 cups baby spinach (more or less), preferably organic
*1 blood orange, supremed, and then cut into smaller pieces
*1/2 cup dry-roasted, shelled pistachios (mine were salted, but unsalted is preferable)
*about 15 fresh violet blossoms

For the dressing:

*1/4 cup plain organic yogurt
*1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Directions:

Mix all salad ingredients (except for the flowers) in a medium-large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients and combine with the salad. Compose salad on plate(s) and garnish with the violets.

This post is linked to Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday!