Wildflower Recipes

Part 1: Violet Jelly

            I know there are people who feel their lawn should be perfect with no weeds showing anywhere and they work very hard to achieve such a lovely plot of grass. These same people would look at my lawn, if it can be called that, and think my only object was to grow those weeds they work so hard to get rid of on their lawns. Well, not exactly but while they look at my lawn and see weeds I see FOOD! One of these weeds, the violet, has nearly taken over the whole yard and I have a terrible time every year keeping it out of the garden but it is also a very good food source as well as a lovely flower.

            Violets are a hardy perennial originally from the Pyrenees Mountains. The violets in my yard produce a five petal, purple blossoms on long stems that rise directly from the center of the plant. The leaves are heart shaped with bluntly serrated edges, covered in fine hairs.

            I have always known that the violet flowers and leaves were edible and had tried the blossoms in salad but they have little or no taste. It was only recently that I saw a recipe for violet jelly and decided to try it.

            First comes the picking. You are going to need about 2 cups of violet blossoms without the stems. If you have a yard full of violets like mine you will find this doesn’t take long


These you will need to put in a glass bowl and pour boiling water over them to make an infusion. Leave them like this at room temperature overnight.

In the morning strain these through a fine sieve and measure out two cups of the lavender colored liquid.

            Put this in a large pot on the stove and add the juice of one lemon or two teaspoons of bottled lemon juice and one package of commercial pectin.

            Bring to a boil and add 4 cups sugar. Return to boiling and boil hard for one minute while stirring.  Pour into hot sterilized jars, wipe rim and adjust lids.

            Process in a water-bath canner for 15 minutes. This will make approximately 4 half-pints of jelly.


Rebecca Whitford