This is one of our favorite things that comes from Highland Gardens. For whatever reason it is thriving in our farm and continues to propagate in new areas and grow in density wherever it already exists. We use nearly all of the plant all year round. The leaves add a nice delicate herbal layer to any dish. We have a few areas on the farm where we have purposely over shaded to keep the chamomile to bush out with its leaves and prevent flowering.
We also use the flowers as pictured above. This is a great ingredient in the summer months to use for savory or sweet dishes. The subtle flavor of fresh chamomile goes great with nearly everything. We often will pair it with preserved and fresh mushrooms, or poached eggs. We don’t present the flower whole on the plate though. We will take the bud of the flower and gently pinch it between our fingers to more evenly spread the pollen out over a dish. This also seems to strengthen the aroma factor.
During the heat of the summer we will collect as many of the flowers as we have time to. They are placed on metal trays in the back of the kitchen and are allowed to dry out. This enables us to preserve the special harvest all year, and bring a small taste of summer to some of our winter dishes.
Chamomile has served to be a great addition to our farm and kitchen.