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Tulips for your Table and your Plate.

This month's recipe, Tulipes Vertes et Perroquet, is the epitome of this well-known adage amongst chefs, "You eat with your eyes first," as it is not only delicious on your dinner plate but also tasteful on your dinner table.

French, Fancy, Frilly or Food – Tulips are all of the above.

The primary ingredient is found in a floral cooler, not on the grocer’s shelves.  The recipe for Tulipes Vertes et Perroquet is a grand mix of color and unexpected tastes. 

Let’s begin by learning more about the unique ingredient in the recipe …

The Parrot Tulip

One of the most beautiful of the lily or Liliaceae Family, the Parrot Tulip, has a delicate yet firm beauty.  It blooms in mid to late spring after other varieties have flowered and fallen.  Their edges are frilly, stems are sleek and long, multi-colored, usually striped or streaked, and their petals’ shape is perfectly symmetrical. The symmetry is created by three petals and three sepals in equal sizes giving them their cup shape.  Some felt the form was similar to a parrot’s beak, thus giving this fragile beauty its name. 

Like all tulips, they are perennials returning to your garden each year like clockwork.  They divide at their base, forming clumps of bulbs, which add to your family of flowers every season. Remember to plant your bulbs in late fall, ensuring good bulb distancing of 6″ apart. They love the sun, so some hosta plants, also called plantain lilies, make for lovely companions to parrot tulips. The long slender stems of the tulip allow them to find a place in the sun above the hosta’s varied leaf-types.

Fringed, twisted, or ruffled edges in a wide range of colors from red, violet, orange, pink, green, and near-black define the beauty of this flora masterpiece. For centuries, giving tulips has been a sign of perfect or deep love. The Victorian era associated the flower with charity, while others felt its spring bloom meant rebirth. Colors played a big part in the meaning and giving of tulips:

  • Yellow blooms mean a person is hopelessly in love with their partner – or given as a gesture to fill us with hope and happiness.
  • Red, as in most flowers, is a declaration of love – which frequently is followed by a proposal.
  • Pink shows caring, thoughtfulness and compassion – with an underlying meaning of affection.
  • White means rebirth, a sense of hope and renewal – often given as a sign of respect.

The ornately winged petals and a plethora of color combinations give the parrot tulip an overall sense of elegance, grace, and romance. Tulips are the flower representing 11-years of marriage – the start of a new decade of wedlock. With Valentine’s day on the way, tulips will be everywhere, as they are second only to roses when it comes to sending flowers on Cupid’s Day. 

So, let's get ready to set a romantic table for your Valentine's Dinner with the following flower and food recipes:

Flower Recipe

The following centerpiece was created for a wedding by Sarah Rose, Stroudsmoor’s lead floral designer.  Sarah Rose is accredited by Flower School of New York and has studied abroad, shown here in Holland’s tulip fields.

Pink Petalled Spring Bouquet

(Serves one table)

Baby Blue Eucalyptus
Baby Blue Eucalyptus
Salal or Lemon Leaf
Salal or Lemon Leaf
White Veronica
White Veronica

Quick Steps

  1. Cut and fit oasis inside vase bowl – ensure the oasis foam has been submerged in water rendering it went all the way through. Then tape it in place, making a cross from side to side.
  2. Always place flowers first.
  3. Insert the tulips symmetrically starting around the vase’s perimeter – ending with those near the center slightly longer.
  4. Insert the white Veronica in between the tulips creating a spiraling flow from top to bottom edge.
  5. Now the greens will find their way to complementing the flowers. In this arrangement, the salal or lemon leaf is located around the lower edge of the arrangement, with a few branches tucked into the center. The Eucalyptus gives complement to the spiky nature of the Veronica.
  6. Lastly, insert the branches of pussy willow as your eye determines they are needed.

Now that we have set your table let’s dress your salad plate! 

Tulipes Vertes et Perroquet

A grand mix of color and unexpected tastes. 

During WWII, sadly, food was very scarce, so being innovative and courageous, Hollander began to cook tulip bulbs in a soup.  Some say the bulbs are poisonous, but when properly pealed (like an onion) and boiled, many toxins are eliminated.   For this recipe, we will use only the flower’s petals and eat them raw vs. cooking them into a soup or main dish.  The colors can be vibrant or pastel, while the petal’s taste ranges from the slightly sweet, peppery, or bean-like flavor.  The petal’s texture is crunchy and slightly chewy.  They are paired excellently with soft cheeses, a vinaigrette, and nuts – all of which are in this recipe.


Quick Steps

  1. Wash all leafy greens and tulip petals separately.
  2. Slice cucumber – remember to go seedless if necessary. Using a mandolin to ensure an even thin slice is recommended.
  3. Toss the arugula, spinach, and light leafy lettuce together – then add some of the sliced cucumber to the mix, leaving the tulip petals aside to place atop the mixed greens once on the plate.
  4. Spread your crostini with cheese, top with sliced cucumber and basil leaves, sprinkle with salt and pepper – 2 p/p.
  5. Choose your plate wisely – based on the size of your table and the shape of your crostini – this one is rectangular, approximately 11″ long/5″ wide.
  6. Dress your plant – starting at the bottom with the mixed greens and cucumber, garnish the top with the tulip petals, nuts of your choice, and Feta crumbles. Place your finished crostini on the plate in a balanced fashion.
  7. Finally, see the recipe for Stroudsmoor’s Balsamic Vinaigrette below – serve it on the side to allow guests to determine how much and to keep your flower petals from wilting.

Stroudsmoor's Balsamic Vinaigrette

Quick Steps

  1. Put all ingredients into the bowl of your mixer, except the oil.
  2. Initially, blend at a slow speed, combining in the small oil amounts at a time until all of the oil is in the mix.
  3. Gradually, turn the mixer to a medium speed allowing all ingredients to combine.
  4. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve – transfer from container to dressing pitcher for the table. The vinaigrette will hold nicely in the fridge for 5-7 days. If separating occurs, simple mix again.

We will try this lovely tulip citrus salad another day.

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