Food for Beltane, Asparagus, Pine Nut and Chive Blossoms
Happy Beltane everyone!
GD and I are sharing this meal tonight
along with some delicious strawberry wine GD made
and I love this recipe because it uses the whole of the chive plant, the stem, the bulb and the beautiful flower which are abundant at this time of year.
I so love the taste of the chive bulb and flower and was searching for ideas to bring to the Beltane table and this served the purpose wonderfully. This is the time of year to find healthy green vibrant asparagus quite cheaply in the market or the shops, perfect to marry with the delicious chive blossoms blooming in the garden.
First drizzled with olive oil and baked in the oven on a stone
Recipe: Serves 2
1 lb / 250 g Asparagus, washed.
1 Tbsp Olive oil.
1 Tbsp Pine nuts or Sesame Seeds.
2 Tbsp Freshly picked Chives chopped.
16 Chive Blossoms.
1/2 tsp Soy Sauce.
Celtic Sea salt and freshly ground Black Pepper to taste.
Blanch the asparagus in lightly salted boiling water until crisp and tender approximately 3 minutes.
Refresh under cold water and drain well.
Remove the chive stalks from the flower heads to separate them.
In a heavy based frying pan, (cast iron works well), heat the oil over medium heat and add the pine nuts or sesame seeds, stir for 1 minute, then add in the chopped chives, and stir for another one minute.
Add the asparagus and the soy sauce to the pan with a few pinches of Celtic sea salt and a generous twist of black pepper, stir well, cover with a lid and cook for a minute or so.
Remove the lid and sprinkle the chive blooms over the asparagus, cover again for 1 to 2 minutes to let the chive blooms steam a little.
Stir lightly and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve hot.
I served mine over crusty sourdough slices soaked in a little olive oil and baked on a hot stone in the oven for a few minutes until just crisping with some goats cheese on the side and some dried figs.
Some interesting facts about Beltane:
Colours: Colours associated with Beltane are greens, yellows, sky blue, and lavender.
I like to use candles, I use them all the time and Beltane candles are often white, dark green and red, but all colors of the rainbow are appropriate. For tonight’s table I am using green and yellow candles.
Rituals: The festival of Beltane, the Celtic May Day begins at moon rise on May Day Eve and marks the beginning of the third quarter of the ancient Celtic year.
Traditionally this marked the first turning out of the cattle to pasture.
The rituals held at this time were performed in celebration to promote fertility. One of these rituals was the driving of cattle between two bale fires, fire being symbolic of contact with the sun. In early times the druids kindled the Beltane fires with specific incantations. Later the church took over the Beltane traditions, offering a service held in the church followed by a procession out to the fields where a priest would light the fire.
Customs: The rowan is one of nine sacred trees of the druids and a branch hung over the hearth on May Day is said to protect the fire of the home from bewitchment, the house fire is symbolic of the luck of the house, so this would be an important custom.
Celebrations: Beltane celebrates Union, between God and Goddess and between man and woman. It is the time in myths when the young God has reached manhood and unites with his Goddess, becoming lovers they learn intimacy and through their union all life begins. Hand fasting is traditional at this time, fertility and harvest are celebrated, a time for reaping what we have sown. Celebrations include braiding hair to honor the union of man and woman and Goddess and God, Maypole dancing for fertility and jumping the Beltane fire for luck. Beltane is a celebration of life, flowers and greenery symbolize the Goddess, and the Maypole represents the God. Beltane marks the return of vitality and passion of summer.
The cauldron is another common feature of Beltane ritual and representative of the Goddess. The Welsh goddess Creiddylad is connected with Beltane, often called the May Queen, she was a Goddess of summer flowers and love.
May Day has been celebrated with feasts and rituals for centuries. The May Pole dances have long been the focal point of English ritual. I remember dressing my own daughter for the school Maypole dance when she was little in the 80’s. Many people gather flowers and green branches from the surrounding area and use them to decorate the Maypoles.
In some villages still today the May Queen and King maybe chosen from the young people of the area and they will sing door to door throughout the village, carrying flowers asking for donations in return for blessings of May. This is symbolic of bestowing and sharing of the new creative power that is stirring in the world. As the young people go door to door, the May Bride sings songs to the effect that those who give will get of nature’s bounty through the year.
Crystals for Beltane: include sapphires, blood stones, emeralds, orange carnelians, and rose quartz.
Plants and Animals of Beltane: Plants and herbs associated with Beltane are primrose, roses, yellow cowslip, hawthorn, birch trees, rosemary and lilac also apple blossom, almond, angelica, ash tree, bluebells, daisies, frankincense, ivy and marigold.
Animals: Animals associated with Beltane are robins, calves, goats, rabbits and honey bees. Mythical beasts associated with Beltane include the Fae, Pegasus, giants and satyrs.
Incense: includes Lilac, passion flower, rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, peach, musk, or vanilla.
aphrodisiacs: Almonds, asparagus, bananas, figs, nutmeg, oysters, pineapple, strawberries, truffles and vanilla.
Dairy foods and eggs are also associated with this season as are sweets , honey and oats. Dishes such as vanilla ice cream and egg custard are all traditional fare on this day.
By the way I have no idea what is going on with the font on this post but I will try to get it corrected as soon as I figure out what is happening😊