Thursday, July 17, 2014

Go Ahead and Eat the Daylilies!

July is when I am most satisfied with my garden. Monarda is blooming, brilliant red; also Black-Eyed Susan, Echinachea, and the ubiquitous daylily. I have several different hybrid varieties, but I think my favorite is the classic orange tiger lily, for its exuberant abundance.

I learned something new this season: daylilies are edible! My friend Kim, an artist with Carriage House Arts & Design in Norridgewock, makes daylily jam! You can also sauté the blossoms for a nutritious side dish. Here are a couple of recipes to try.

Daylily Stir Fry (from

  • A 1 inch piece of ginger root
  • 3 tablespoons of corn oil
  • 1 small can of water chestnuts
  • 2-3 cups daylily buds
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons of water

  1. Peel and grate ginger.
  2. Mix sugar, corn starch and water. Set aside.
  3. Warm pan and add the oil. Get the oil quite hot; a haze will appear.
  4. Add ginger. Sauté about 30 seconds; don't let it oil brown.
  5. Add water chestnuts and daylily buds. Stir fry!
  6. Pour the mixture over the lily buds and turn quickly but gently until all the flower buds are coated with a sauce.
  7. Serve immediately with rice or as a side dish. 
Or, if you've a sweet tooth, try this Daylily Jam, from
  • 2 1/2 cups apple juice or white wine
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 oz. liquid pectin (Certo-1 pack)
  • 1 cup fresh petals or buds. Cut off the stems and take out the stamens and pistils
Bring juice to a boil and pour over petals, cover and steep until liquid has cooked. Strain out petals, leaving only liquid. Combine 2 cups of the flower infusion with the sugar, lemon juice and food coloring. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as sugar is dissolved, stir in pectin. Return to a rolling boil stirring and boiling for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Let cool slightly and add more flower petals.Pour into sterilized jars. If flowers don’t stay suspended, stir jelly as it cools until petals stay in place. Process in hot water bath (5 minutes) or seal with paraffin.


  1. I love reading your blogs. Your'e a natural writer, poet, potter, and probably a lot more I can't think of.