The Nibble book is at the printers! Beyond articles, art & interviews, it includes recipes galore—from the likes of Casa B, Journeyman, Maria Curtatone (the mayor’s mom!) and Salvadoran native, Ana Flores.
Because there’s a back story to every dish, each recipe is preceded by an introduction. Here, Nibble scribe Susan Llewelyn Leach gives us an introduction to Ana’s breakfast recipe, which uses the blossoms from a yucca plant, El Salvador’s national flower.
When Ana Flores was growing up in El Salvador, she would walk to her grandparents’ house each day to pick flowers from their garden for cooking. The flor de izote, also known as yucca, is Salvador’s national flower and a breakfast delicacy. The plant’s flowers are clustered in a pyramid of blooms far beyond the reach of children’s hands. So with the help of her grandfather, Ana would chop a stalk down and run home to watch her mother cook the blossoms with eggs.
Now living in Somerville with children of her own, Ana only whips up a traditional breakfast on special occasions, like when family is visiting. In addition to eggs with flor de izote, a morning meal with the Flores family also might include pupusas with loroco, another flower used in Salvadoran cuisine.
Cooking with fresh blossoms was only part of the magic of Ana’s childhood in Yucuaiquin, in the east of El Salvador. They had no electricity or running water, but a diet of fresh foods that would be the envy of any urban foodie. “At our house, my father kept bees; the honey was delicious,” Ana recalls. “Around my grandparents’ house, there were mangoes, lemon and lime trees, jocote, annonas and flor de izote. Organic food isn’t new to me; it’s what I grew up with.”
“We didn’t have a stove, so we cooked over a fire,” she continues. “We cooked in clay pots, which gave the food a certain taste—I really liked the taste. Now they have stoves back home. We are helping modernize the country by sending some money back home.”
Below is Ana’s recipe for Scrambled Eggs with Flor de Izote. You can find all the ingredients for this recipe at La Internacional Market. In fact, when you walk into this market, you’ll see a large plastic version of flor de izote! (See photo.) Alternately, you can harvest your own yucca flowers—they do grow in Somerville! Find Ana’s recipe for Pupusas with Loroco blossoms in the Nibble book, which will be on sale at Sherman Market, 22 Union Square, Somerville, beginning July 30. Stay tuned for more information about this book.
Scrambled Eggs with Flor de Izote
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 chicken bouillon cube or sachet
1 2-pound jar of flor de izote*, drained; or 1 pound fresh flor de izote (they do grow in Somerville gardens!)
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper (to taste)
1. Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium-high and cook onion and tomato until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add chicken bouillon and stir.
3. Add flor de izote and stir; continue cooking for 5 minutes.
4. Add salt and black pepper, to taste and stir.
5. Beat the eggs in a bowl and pour slowly over the cooking flor de izote.
6. Gently stir until the eggs are cooked, about 5 more minutes. Serve hot with warm tortillas.
Shopping tip: Find these ingredients at La Internacional and other Latino markets.