We all know how our bodies feel when we’re not eating at our healthiest – you are what you eat after all. Without the proper nourishment, we don’t have the fuel in the tank in order to operate effectively and that’s why it’s so important to think about balanced foods – and sometimes go back to basics! Our friend Emanuela has shared with us these delicious recipes she’s created that harness the power of plants.
One key ingredient in her recipes are Marigold (Calendula officinalis) petals which are just as powerful on the inside as they are on the outside – that’s why we use them in our skincare products at Orsú. These petals are so powerful thanks to three key elements found within;
(1) Carotenoids – these are a precursor of Vitamin A (retinol) and antioxidants;
(2) Flavonoids – which are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and confer protection and reinforcement of microcapillaries;
(3) Tannins – which are both antiviral and antifungal.
One of the many traditional recipes with marigold was to soak marigold buds in vinegar and use them as seasoning to stimulate the appetite. Emanuela has added her own twist to the traditional approach to develop some star dishes.
Each recipe serves 4 people and indicates the key ingredient nutrients and the beneficial effects on your skin!
White chocolate tarts
250g khorasan wheat flour
Nutrients: zinc, magnesium, polifenols, fatty acids and vitamin E
Effects on skin: antioxidants
90g brown sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
viamin A, vitamins B2, B5, B12, vitamin D, biotin, choline, iodine, phosphorous, selenium, sulphur, zinc, carotenes, lutein, omega-3, protein
builds collagen and elastin making the skin more supple
100g white chocolate
2 tbs double cream
1 tbs of marigold and other edible flower petals
1 tbs of pistachios
1 ts lavender
tannins, coumarins, flavonoids and triterpenoids
relaxes the nervous system preventing oxidation
Mix in the food processor the flour with butter first and then add sugar, egg, yolk and a pinch of salt. When a soft ball is formed, wrap it with clingfilm and put it in the fridge for an hour. Then roll out the pastry, cut out 6 disks slightly larger than your mini tart tins, butter the tins, and place a disc in each one of them. Prick the pastry with a fork and bake blind for 20 minutes at 180°C. Remove the tarts from the tins and leave to cool. Melt the white chocolate in small pieces in a bain marie. Remove it from the heat and mix it with the double cream. Pour it into the tarts and put them in the fridge to solidify. Serve with ground pistachios, and marigold and lavender petals on top.
Note: you can aromatise the pastry adding organic lemon zest.
Goat cheese risotto
320g brown rice
1 small onion
inulin, quercetin, flavonoids, sulphur and biotin
sulphur boosts collagen production
1 ts butter
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
vitamin E, vitamin K, flavonoids, omega-9
antioxidant, wound blood coagulant
100g organic soft goat cheese
1 glass of dry white wine
1 litre of vegetable broth
1 handful of fresh marigold flower petals
salt and black pepper
Chop the onion finely and cook it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil at low heat for 5 minutes without colouring. Add the rice and mix it well for 1 minute with the onion at a high heat. Add the wine and let it evaporate completely. Now cover the rice with a ladle of hot broth salt and pepper and keep adding broth to cover the rice when it is absorbed for about 45 minutes (classic risotto white rice cooks in about 18 minutes). Do not stir continuously, just when you add new broth. Remove from heat and stir in butter, goat cheese and 2/3 of the marigold petals. Serve immediately with freshly grounded black pepper and the rest of the marigold petals on top.
Note: the peppery, spicy and bitter flavour mix of marigold is delicious with the delicate flavour of goat cheese.
Mini nettle omelettes
3tsb grated parmesan
200g nettle tips
iron, potassium, silica, calcium, vitamin A, D and K
supports hyaluronic acid molecules and keeps skin tight and wrinkle-free
1tbs extra virgin olive oil
1tsb organic marigold flower petals
pinch of salt
Wash the nettles wearing gloves and leave to drain in a collander. Whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt and the parmesan cheese, then pour a few table spoons of the mix in a small saucepan and cook for a few minutes on medium heat. Then add some nettle leaves on top and turn the omelette upside down and cook few more minutes. Serve hot, topping with fresh marigold flower petals.
Note: marigold gives a nice peppery note to the delicate omelette.
Mint and marigold flower pesto (vegan)
70g fresh marigold petals
20g fresh mint leaves
Nfolate, calcium, vitamin B2, potassium
vitamin A, B vitamins, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, alpha- linoleic acid
helps to reduce symptoms of dry skin
1 garlic clove
vitamin B6, vitamin C, selenium, sulphur, allicin
collagen production, skin healing, improve skin complexion
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Blend in a food processor the mint, marigold petal, walnuts and garlic, gradually adding the olive oil until the mix is as fine and smooth as you prefer. Season to your taste with salt and pepper and serve on toasted bread slices.
Note: menthol in mint leaves has calming and disinfectant properties that helps soothing digestive issues.
Colourful salad (vegan)
250g mix fresh herb leaves (parsley, coriander, rocket, mustard, watercress and all your favourites)
calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, vitamins B and vitamin C
protect against free radicals, cleanse the kin and alleviate keratosis pilaris and reduce skin eruptions
2 small apples of your choice
antioxidant, collagen and melanin promoter
8 marigold flowers
250g pre-cooked chickpeas
vitamin B6, folate, copper, iron, zinc
helps repairing the skin, keeps herpes virus at bay
1 small beetroot
folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamins B1 and B6, magnesium and iron
vitamin C and betacarotene
antioxidant, produces collagen and protects against excessive UVB ray exposure
2 tbs lemon juice
vitamin C and folate
helps reducing oily skin and puffiness caused by water retention
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs cider vinegar
Wash the leaves, marigold flowers and apples. Slice the apples thinly and put them in lemon juice to prevent blackening. Slice the beetroot and then cut it in julienne. Mix all the ingredients in a salad bowl and season with lime juice, olive oil, salt and cider vinegar and finish sprinkling with the marigold flower petals.
Note: as chickpeas are a rich source of protein, if you serve it with bread, it becomes a complete meal. Herb leaf salad has a low calorie count but is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Spaghetti with anchovies, watercress and a marigold sauce
80g anchovy fillets in olive oil
omega-3, vitamin B12, vitamin D and iron
helps hair hydration and nutrition
50g marigold flower petals
a bunch of watercress
sulphur, vitamin A, vitamic C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium
fights bacterial infection and reduces skin eruptions
vitamin E, B vitamins, biotin, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenum, zinc and omega-6
regulates sebum production
half glass of dry white wine
1 tbs grated pecorino cheese
2 tbs bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 ice cube (to preserve the sauce’s vibrant colour)
Toast the almonds and the bread crumbs in separate pans. Finely chop the marigold petals, almonds, watercress, pecorino, half garlic clove, 1 tbs of olive oil and an ice cube in a food processor, and put the resulting paste in the fridge. Cook the spaghetti (boil a large pan of water, add salt and spaghetti and boil for the time indicated on the spaghetti packaging and drain it). Now melt the anchovy fillets in a saucepan on high heat and add the spaghetti, mixing for 1 minute, and then add also the paste mixing everything for another minute. Serve, topping each portion with the toasted bread crumbs, freshly ground pepper and some fresh marigold petals.
Note: marigold flavour results are similar to saffron and watercress and can be substituted with wild rocket.
These delicious recipes are packed with the earth’s nutrients and the naturally healing power of plants. It’s especially rewarding to go back to basics during the summer months and eat fresh food that’s seasonal and organic. Which one will you make first?