Wild Violets: Foraging Guide and Recipes
While you can eat the new leaves as bland vegetable, the most desirable portion of the common wild violet are their flowers. Particularly beloved by French cooks, violet flowers add a sweet, perfumey taste to salads, sauces and deserts.
LOOK: Spring. In shady woods.
COLLECT: You can give the young leaves a shot and collect those, but the real prize will be the violet flowers. If you’re planning on using the flowers in a raw application such as in salad or topping a desert, you’ll want to take care not to crush them. Where you find some, there are likely to be much, much more, which is good because most uses require a fair amount. Only collect what you're ready to use immediately that day. Violets will wilt fairly quickly.
USE: Violet leaves can be eaten raw or boiled and served with a little salt and butter. Violet flowers can be used to top salads or deserts, used to infuse flavor, or candied with egg white and sugar.