The Art of Aquatic Cooking

Full Bloom Dip
Serves 10 to 16

by Cathy Wilkinson Barash © 2006

8 ounces whipped cream cheese
Up to 1/2 cup flavorful aquatics (mix and match to your taste: aquatic mint, bog cranberry, chameleon plant, cattail, galingale, lemon grass, Vietnamese cilantro, watercress, wasabi, daylilies), finely chopped
Petals from 8 to 10 daylily flowers (taste first, yellow, orange and peach blooms often have best flavor)

1. Soften the cream cheese to room temperature.
2. Mix in the chopped plants.
3. Cover and leave at room temperature for 1 hour.
4. Use plastic wrap to shape the cheese into a half sphere. Cover in plastic. Refrigerate overnight so the flavors have time to meld.
5. Unwrap, place on the center of a plate. Leave at room temperature for about an hour.
6. Starting at the base of the hemisphere, insert the base of the petals into the cheese. Space them about 1/2 inch apart. Overlap the rows of petals as you work your way up to the top. When finished, this will look like a gorgeous sunflower!

As guests pull out the petals, it's instant hors d'oeuvres as the cheese is already on each petal. May be served with taro chips for those who may be hesitant to eat flowers.

More recipes by Cathy Wilkinson Barash
Vietnamese Cilantro Salsa | Chameleon Wild Rice Salad & Wasabi Vinaigrette
Cinnamon Wild Rice Pudding | Cattail Biscuits | Daylily Blueberry Pancakes

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