Queen Anne's Lace Flower Fritters

(As featured in the August 2011 issue of Practically Seeking)

The $12 Tincture Press

This is one of our favorite late-summer treats and since this is the end of the season's height we thought we'd pass this one along while the flowers are still well in bloom.

Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus Carota) is a ridiculously healthy wild edible that is a veritable gold mine of vitamins, minerals and amazing medicinal constituents. And it tastes great too!

Now, there are people out there who are afraid of mistaking Queen Anne's Lace (also known as Wild Carrot) for another member of the parsley family, Poison Hemlock, that is... less edible (okay, extremely toxic). Proper identification of any plant your intend it eat is absolutely vital and we always recommend that you ID each new plant from at least two, preferably three different sources. Before you touch anything that "looks like" a member of this family ALWAYS be sure you positively identify it first! There are many very obvious differences between Wild Carrot and Poison Hemlock, and once you are aware of them you could no more confuse these two than you would lettuce and cabbage.
However, if you are still concerned, just look closely: A very large percentage of these easy-to-identify Queen Anne's Lace flower umbels have a single purple flower at their center. So long as you make sure that each flower umbel you pick has that tiny dark purple speck at it's core, you'll have nothing to worry about

Now that we have that out of the way, let's learn how to make these tasty fritters!

Step-by-step Instructions on How to Make Queen Anne's Lace Flower Fritters:

  1. Find a stand of Queen Anne's Lace flowers that are in full bloom, with many of the flower heads fully open so they look pretty much flat. Remember the rules of good foraging and never take more than a third of the available flowers from any one area. See the purple center flower?
  2. Find a stand in full flower Purple Flower

  3. Cut the flowers so that you have at least six inches of stem. You'll need this for a handle later!
  4. Leave the stem long as a handle

  5. Pour about a quarter inch of olive or canola oil into a small skillet. In this six-inch skillet we used just over a quarter cup.
  6. Pour oil in pan A quarter cup of oil About a quarter inch full

  7. Heat the oil carefully, over a medium to medium-high heat, to the point that, when you drop a small bit of stem into the oil it begins to bubble furiously and immediately all around the object.
  8. Hot oil

  9. Holding it by the length of stem, carefully dip your flower head upside-down into the oil so that the head is pretty much fully immersed in the oil. The oil should be bubbling furiously all around the flower.
  10. Dip the flower head in oil

  11. Hold the flower head in one place until it turns from white to a golden brown. This should take about 15 seconds. (If the oil is not hot enough this process will take too long and the flower will taste oily instead of delicious.)
  12. Fry till golden brown

  13. Once your flower head has turned color, remove it from the oil. shake lightly and place it, still head-down, onto a piece of paper towel. This will allow the excess oil to drain off and the flower to cool slightly.
  14. Shake off excess oil Place on paper towel to dry

  15. Continue the process, one flower head at a time for larger flowers or several together for smaller flowrs, until you've "frittered" them all.
  16. Fry large heads individually Smaller flowers can be done in a group Fried flowers

  17. Sprinkle a little salt over the frittered flower heads, then, to taste the best of these wild treats, hold one by the stem, pop all or part of the umbel into your mouth, close your teeth around it and pull the stem away, leaving most of the bracts behind.
  18. Sprinkle with salt Pop flower into your mouth Pull stem away

  19. Enjoy the deliciousness!
  20. Enjoy the deliciousness!

Until next time, enjoy the bounty of Summer,
and Have Fun!

Want to learn more about Wild Edibles or making Foraging a part of your lifestyle?
Come on out to our Woodland Foraging and Foraging & Gathering: The Mindset of the Hunter-Gatherer
workshops, coming in September!