Cucumber Tomato Basil Salad with Arugula and Bok Choy Flowers

It's funny how sometimes even after the most amazing experiences, nothing beats the excitement of coming home, lying in your awesome ass bed and relishing in the glory of everything familiar again.  Home sweet home. Even better, we came home to an exploding garden! Everything literally tripled in size while we were gone -- the beans, the tomatoes, my wildflowers. We instilled life back into this little yard, it's now filled with ladybugs, butterflies, bees Oh My! The Wells farm is up and kickin, we're keeping our fingers crossed for a bountiful harvest.

I made this salad tonight using vegetables from my dad's garden and basil, waxbeans and flowers from ours.  I never thought to use flowers in food but since starting our growing frenzy, I've managed to taste practically everything. And arugula, onion and bok choy flowers are on my list of top finds -- they are fantastic and give little bursts of flavors throughout the salad.  This recipe is a glorious celebration of everything life: from seed to flower to fruit, repeat.

Cucumber Tomato Basil Salad with Arugula and Bok Choy Flowers
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Joy Zhang
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 2-4
A rustic salad using home-grown organic vegetables: japanese cucumber, brandywine tomatoes, basil, arugula flower, bok choy flower, onion flower, wax beans
  • 2 large brandywine tomatoes, 1" pieces
  • 1 japanese cucumber
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon of arugula flowers
  • 1 teaspoon of bokchoy flowers
  • 1 teaspoon of onion flowers
  • 1/2 cup wax beans
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Wash all vegetables thoroughly under water making sure to rid of all dirt. Dice the tomatoes into 1" pieces and thinly slice the cucumber.
  2. Cut off the ends of wax beans and cut them in half. In a large bowl mix the tomatoes, cucumber and beans together.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk oil with salt and pepper. Drizzle on salad and toss evenly. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with arugula and bokchoy flowers.

Arugula flowers have a nice spicy flavor much like the leaf -- be sure to pick the flowers when they are just blooming. If you wait too long they will taste bitter.

Bok Choy flowers are more grassy with umami undertones. Same rule of thumb, harvest when the flowers are newly blossomed.