Cattail Flower Soufflé

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The top of each cattail stem is slightly thicker than the bottom of the stem; this is the flowering part of the plant. They may not look like garden flowers, but trust me, these are flowers. The thick segment is divided into two parts, with the male flowers located above the female flowers. Left unpicked, the male flowers will release a bright yellow pollen, but for this recipe, you want to harvest the male flowers before the pollen is released. Bring the male flowers back to the kitchen and steam them for five minutes. Then, use a fork to scrape the flowers off the stiff wiry stem that runs through the middle of the bloom spike.

Preheat your oven to 350F

In a small bowl, gently beat one egg. Add 1/2 cup of immature male cattail flowers, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, and 1/4 cup grated cheese.

Pour the mixture into a greased custard dish and bake for approximately 12 minutes.

These are what cattail flowers look like! Yes, they look like a stem. But since they don’t have pretty flower parts to attract pollinators, they place the male flowers on top of the female so that the pollen can just fall down onto the female for fertilization. Plants are really amazing, right?

Use a fork to scrape the steamed flowers off their tough stem.

The finished dish: a foraged late spring/early summer breakfast.

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