Did a bit of research on eating day lilies today and now am excited to cook some up tomorrow! Word of caution is to only eat a few or you could get day lily revenge or a gastric experience. Eating anything in moderation is always advised.
All daylilies are edible. But check for the botanical name, Hemerocallis fulva, or any of its cultivars.
Culinary Uses: The young green leaves are edible raw or cooked. Older leaves become fibrous. Tubers are also edible raw or cooked and have a nutty flavour. Young tubers are best, though the central portion of older tubers is also good. Steam or boil the tubers as a potato substitute, or toss them raw onto a salad instead of croutons. The flowers can be eaten raw or cooked. The petals are thick and crunchy, making very pleasant eating raw, with a nice sweetness at the base because of the nectar. They taste somewhat like fresh peas. They can be fried for storage and used as a thickener in soups and stews, or used as a relish. Leaves and young shoots can be cooked and used as a substitute for asparagus or celery. Take small shoots under 15cm, strip away the larger leaves, saute in a little garlic and oil, add raw to salads, or simply steam and drench in butter for a nice, crunchy treat.
Warning: Large quantities of the leaves are said to be hallucinogenic. Because of the acrid nature of the green foliage, some experience nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting after eating raw plant parts. Such people will not be affected if the plant is cooked. Eating excessive amounts of raw flowers may cause diarrhoea.
Daylily Bud Saute 2 dozen daylily buds, white bases removed 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup olive oil 3 eggs pinch of nutmeg salt and pepper I clove garlic, finely chopped
Saute the garlic in a little olive oil. Beat eggs, mix in enough flour to make a thin batter. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and nutmeg. Add a teaspoon of milk if the batter is too thick. Dip the buds in the batter and saute until golden brown.
Daylily flowers can be stuffed, or added to soups and vegetables dishes. They can be boiled, steamed or added to stirfries. Add them to salads, or coat with batter and fry. Daylily leaves taste a little like creamed onions. Choose young leaves for best flavour. Add to soups, vegetable dishes and stirfries.
Day Lily Pork 3/4 cup onion rings 3 tablepsoons butter 1 clove garlic, mashed 8 thin slices of pork 1 tablespoon cornflour 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger 1 tablespoon Madeira wine salt and pepper to taste 1 1/2 cups chopped day lilies
Saute onions in the butter until translucent. Remove onions from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. To butter, add garlic and pork slices. Cook both sides of pork, and remove from pan, leaving the juices and butter within the pan. Stir cornflour into the soy sauce until smooth, add to the pan with ginger, wine, salt andpepper. Stir ingredients until thickened and clear. Add the chopped day lily and onions to the pan and stir 2 minutes over medium heat. Pour this mixture over pork and serve.
Pasta with Day Lily Buds and Mushrooms about 185g oyster or shiitake mushrooms 1 heaped cup daylily buds, 2-3cm long 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 shallots, finely minced 1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped marjoram 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley salt and pepper to taste freshly grated parmesan cheese 500g fresh fettucinne noodles
Put water on to boil while preparing vegetables. Tear mushrooms into large bite size pieces and remove stem of shiitakes. Rinse the daylily buds and pat dry. In large frypan, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute them about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add daylily buds and stir 2-3 minutes. Add the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let stand over low heat for a few minutes while pasta is cooking. Drain the pasta, add it to the vegetables, and toss well. Add another tablespoon of butter or oil if necessary. Taste for seasoning and serve hot. Garnish with bread crumbs and parmesan if desired.
Spiced Pickled Day Lily Buds 2 litres day lily buds, freshly boiled and drained 3 cups white vinegar 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice 2 sticks cinnamon, 5cm long, broken up 10-12 whole cloves
Rinse and drain unopened day lily buds; clip off any stem remnants. Put buds in a saucepan, add water barely to cover. Bring quickly to the boil, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Drain. (At this point, the buds can also be served as a vegetable dish after adding salt, pepper, spices, etc. Or they can be stuffed with ricotta cheese and served.) Pack hot buds into 8 sterile 400ml preserving jars. Combine vinegar, brown sugar, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil 3 minutes. Pour pickling solution over buds, distributing spices equally. Seal at once. Leave for a few weeks before using.
I can only think how often I have seen day lilies on the side of the road or in median strips and did not realize they were edible. Another common roadside flower is Queen Anne's Lace. I am going to pick some tomorrow as well. I am so pleased that I have both growing in my front yard. My knowingness must have been working when I planted them. I actually got the Queen Anne's Lace from digging some up on the side of the road and bringing it home. Yarrow and Lupin are another plants I brought home that way. There is an area around my garden shed that I am landscaping with local plants I have liberated from the side of the road. This year I have a hollyhock coming up from seeds sent to me from Marblehead, Massachusetts which is my home town.
Here are some other links to interesting and informative webpages/blogs on day lilies
Let me know if you try them or if you have any other recipes for day lilies or other flowering plants in your yard!