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Wildlife

Typical Easter Recipe with Itabo Flower

By Dr. Rebecca Palma Perez
University of Costa Rica Nutritionist
03/28/13


Photo by Frank Sullyvan Cardoza Ruiz

The flor de itabo or izote shrub is a favorite ingredient during Easter time since it is characterized by appearing in the months of March and April. This edible flower is one of the few flowers present in Costa Rican kitchens.

In Costa Rican cuisine, it is used as an ingredient for stews and egg cakes, occasionally in stuffed tamal, cajetas (creamy homemade candy) and other items such as salads. It should be noted that the flor de Itabo provides an excellent source of vitamin C. It also contains iron, phosphorus, calcium and niacin.
Tip: To reduce its bitterness, separate the green center and use only the white petals of the flower.

Itabo flower stew with egg

Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1/8 teaspoon achiote (annatto)
• 1 tablespoon minced onion
• 1 garlic clove finely chopped
• 2 cups of petals of flor de itabo (buttons and flower centers have more bitter taste)
• 2 whole eggs
• salt
Procedure
• In a frying pan add oil and annatto
• Fry onion and garlic
• Add the flower petals and cook over moderate heat for approximately ten minutes.
• In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and salt.
• Add the egg to the flor de itabo and stir well. Cook for three minutes.

Salad of Flor de Itabo
Ingredients
• 6 cups of petals of flor de itabo
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 4 medium potatoes
• 3 chopped hard boiled eggs
• 1 garlic clove finely chopped
• 1/3 cup chopped onion
• 1/3 cup chopped red sweet pepper
• 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
• 1 tablespoon of chopped celery
• 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
• ¼ cup of mayonnaise
• ¼ cup of lemon juice
• Salt
Procedure
• Cook the petals for four minutes in salted water.
• Cook potatoes in a separate pan with salted water, peel and cut into squares.
• Mix the flor de itabo, potatoes, eggs and peppers.
• Prepare a dressing with the mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt.
• Add the dressing to the salad.
• Serve salad cold.



 

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