Though temperatures still hover around freezing, it's finally starting to feel like spring will be here soon. Photographer Kyoko Fierro was inspired by Flemish still-life paintings to create a stunning series of photographs and recipes featuring edible flowers. The paintings, she says, "are perpetually deep in color and remind me of freshly cut pomegranates," and what better way to welcome spring than to cook with some of its best products? Fierro collaborated with food stylist Joanne Strongman and chef Annabelle Choi to come up with a series of recipes featuring flowers like violets, cilantro blossoms, nasturiums, roses and cosmos, and shared the recipe for Butter with Basil Blossoms below.
Butter with Basil Blossoms, by JoAnne Strongman
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted clarified butter*
1/8 to 1/4 cup fresh basil blossoms (plus more to garnish)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Assorted bread, crackers or crostini, for serving
1. Pour the warm, clarified butter into a small bowl. Add sea salt and mix well. Place the basil blossoms carefully into the butter and stir gently to combine evenly.
2. Pour the mixture into a small jar or bowl. container to maximize the visual impact of the basil blossoms. Chill in the refrigerator.
3. Once the butter-basil blossom mixture is chilled, it will be ready to serve with assorted breads, crackers or crostini of your choice. Enjoy!
* To clarify the butter: Cut the butter into squares and melt it slowly in a heavy-bottomed pan at low heat. Skim the foam off the surface with a shallow spoon. Strain the liquid slowly through multiple layers of cheesecloth into a heatproof bowl to remove the white milk solids. The clear yellow liquid is the clarified butter. Clarified butter is acceptable to most who have a lactose intolerance.