Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Edible Flowers: Bachelor Buttons (+Avocado Toast with Creamy Herb Scrambled Eggs)

Edible flowers are everywhere this time of year!  Today, I'd like to introduce a new favorite of mine -- Bachelor Buttons. 

They're an easy-to-grow annual from the Asteraceae family, native to Europe and Asia and bloom from summer to early fall.  Depending on where you live, they may be called Cornflowers or Blue bonnets.  With a very subtle cucumber taste, I call them delicious!  Their vibrant color and mild taste make them a perfect garnish for both sweet and savory foods.

Thanks to my best pal, Kelly (who understands my taking a fancy to eating flowers) for gifting me a blossom; which after a day of beauty in a tiny vase on my windowsill, became the garnish for my avocado toast with creamy herb scrambled eggs.  A single bloom has dozens of smaller flower-like pieces, making them a very compact, yet bountiful source of culinary adornment.

I'm not going to tell you how to make Avocado Toast (hint:  it's avocado and toast), but I am happy to share how I put this particular combo together.  With one baguette, you could whip up a whole plate for a family Brunch!

Avocado Toast with Creamy Herb Scrambled Eggs & Bachelor Buttons

The Toast:  French baguette slices (1/4" bias cut), toasted and very lightly buttered.

The Avocado:  Ripe avocados, not too soft, peeled and sliced

The Eggs:  Gordon Ramsay's dreamy scrambled eggs (this is by far my favorite recipe and the one I teach to all of my students) RECIPE HERE.  One note:  You can substitute heavy cream, sour cream or cream cheese for the creme fraiche.

The Herbs:  1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh herbs (add to the scrambled eggs at the very end with the dairy) -- I used chives and thyme, but tarragon is also lovely.

The Sprinkle:  Can't go wrong with Everything Bagel Topping (make your own or buy at Trader Joes)

Gild the Lily:  Bachelor Buttons, individual petal clusters removed, or any edible flowers of your choice

1.  Slice, toast and butter the bread.

2.  Prepare the scrambled eggs per the recipe above.  Stir in the fresh herbs at the very end.

3.  Top each slice of bread with avocado slices. 

4.  Add a generous portion of the scrambled eggs down the center of the avocado slices.

5.  Shake on some bagel seasoning and add a crank of freshly cracked black pepper.

6.  Garnish with blossoms and enjoy!

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