See that flower up there? That's Cockscomb. And though it might not seem like it, it's not actually a flower. It's a vegetable, one of the very famous leafy greens! AND you can grow it in your Smart Garden!
All the way from Africa to Indonesia and India, its leaves, stem and even the little flowers is a popular ingredient for stews, soups, and as sides to meat and poultry. We personally prefer it as a snack, in dressings or smoothies, or sauteed with salt and pepper as a side dish. And let's not even get started on how amazing a Cockscomb flower looks as a garnish on salads or with a piece of steak. Mmm, drooling.
When eaten young, Cockscomb is a great source of protein (yes, yes - when it comes to protein, leafy greens compete with chicken and eggs!), vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and phosphorus. It's flavor can be compared to spinach, and it has a basil-like texture. So why not try it in scrambled eggs too!
If trying out the world's most beautiful veggie sounds like something you'd be up to, there's something you should know about harvesting it.
If you wish to eat the whole Cockscomb plant, harvest it just before it starts flowering. This way, the stem and the leaves won't be too stringy and chewy. You can of course snack up on the leaves even after it has started flowering, but they will become more tender and bitter. Positive side: You can use the leaves as garnish! After taking a hundred photos of them (any less would be a disgrace on how gorgeous Cockscomb is).
Let's get cooking, shall we? Oddly, there isn't too many Cockscomb recipes out there on the internet, so this would be the perfect ingredient to experiment with in simple dishes as the Africans and Indonesians do. However, we did find a glorious sauteed baby artichoke with cockscomb recipe on ediblefingerlakes.com, which we loved and adapted a little bit to share with you guys as well. Let us know how you like it!
Sauteed Baby Artichokes with Cockscomb (Click & Grow style)
8 baby artichokes
3 Cockscombs from the Smart Garden (leaves and flowers)
Deodorized coconut oil or grapeseed oil
A chunk of fresh thyme
So what do you do?
Firstly, scrub the artichokes and cut away the outer leaves and the stem. Cut them in half and put them in a colander to drain.
Then separate the Cockscomb flowers from the leaves, and over medium flame, heat the oil in a sauté pan.
Once the oil is hot, add artichokes, salt and pepper to the pan and sauté for about 10-15 minutes. After the first 5 minutes, add fresh thyme, and during the last 5 minutes of sautéing, add the Cockscomb leaves too.
That's it! Now you can garnish the whole thing with the flowers and enjoy it as is or as a side.
Drop us your Cockscomb pictures on Instagram with a hashtag #clickandgrow - can't wait to see how you'll like it!