by Randy Graham
Edible centerpieces? Why not? When we make dinner for our friends and family we like to have a centerpiece on the table that is edible. A nice small bouquet of flowers is fun but an “edible” centerpiece is novel, unexpected and can generate interesting discussions while eating.
One time we had a small bouquet of nasturtiums in the middle of the table. Our friend, Lol, asked if they were edible. I didn’t answer him verbally but plucked a flower out of the centerpiece and held it out to him to try. Lol and I used to pick wild edible weeds in the Berkeley Hills so I knew he’d go for it.
After taking a bite, he finished the rest of the flower and asked if the leaves were edible. Again, I plucked a leaf out of the centerpiece and handed it to him. He pronounced it “peppery” and smiled. It was one of the most fun dinners we’ve shared.
Some of the other centerpieces we’ve shared with friends include flowering kale:
Brussel sprouts; and
Pineapple. I use the top as a simple centerpiece after I’ve cut and trimmed pineapple rings for grilling. This centerpiece is not edible but when put on the table along with barbecued pineapple rings, it works! Here’s a vegan recipe I use for barbecuing the pineapple rings.
1 fresh pineapple (peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch rings)
1/2 cup Tamari sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 green onion (chopped)
Juice of 2 oranges
Combine Tamari, sesame oil, maple syrup, green onion and orange juice to create marinade. Marinate pineapple rings for 30 minutes. Barbecue marinated rings over medium heat on grill. Brush with additional sauce while barbecuing. May be served hot from the grill or made ahead of time, refrigerated and served cold.
Next time you set the table and include a centerpiece: go wild, go edible!