SPOTTED: Familiar Springtime Faces… and side-dishes.

SPOTTED: Familiar Springtime Faces... and side-dishes. | StayingSouthern.net

Viola tricolor or Johnny Jump Up

There’s nothing like a relentless winter to make me leap for joy when I finally spot a couple of tiny, familiar springtime faces in the yard.

As pretty as the flowers are, Johnny Jump Ups make a tasty little treat, too. Members of the same perennial family such as sweet violets, violas and pansies are edible as well. The most common way to integrate the colorful blooms into a meal is as a garnish or in a salad. They also make delicious spreadsjellies and even vinegar. Sweet violets (Viola odorata) can be used in tea, syrup and cakes or even candied.  While the sweet violet flowers taste slightly perfumed, their leaves are tart.

 Johnny Jump Ups have even been known to treat epilepsy, asthma and eczema.

For best flavor, harvest newly bloomed flowers in the morning. This is when the oils are most concentrated and blooms look their best. The more you harvest, the more flowers will grow.

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SPOTTED: Zydeco Kitchen – Bend, OR

(zydecokitchen.com)

(zydecokitchen.com)

Zydeco Kitchen
919 NW Bond Street
Bend, OR 97701
(541) 312-2899

This downtown hotspot in Bend, OR has authentic Cajun nuances that a Southerner can appreciate when far from home.

(zydecokitchen.com)

(zydecokitchen.com)

If you’re around for lunch, consider the Potato Chip Crusted Wahoo Sandwich. It’s a sort of an Oregonian take on a catfish poboy. The tarragon remoulade is like heaven in a ramekin and the sandwich is served with a delightful couscous salad on the side.

Zydeco has an extensive cocktail and dinner menu as well.