The Surprising Plant Jamie Oliver Pickles And Eats

British chef, Jamie Oliver knows how to raise an eyebrow with some of his seemingly unconventional culinary creativity. The father of five and star of The Naked Chef, a show where Oliver cooks using basic pantry staples with ease and simplicity, received the ire of the people in Spain who found his riff on paella an abomination, according to The Guardian. Chorizo apparently doesn't have a place in this dish if you want to call it paella. Noted. But per IMDb, Oliver's fan base loved his show because the cooking was so accessible, and he did a fantastic job of breaking down recipes to their most basic ingredients while promoting the use of fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits from his garden. We appreciate this too.

From his avocado hollandaise sauce to his pasta pesto to his ricotta fritters, Oliver always seems to find a way to incorporate something grown in his own backyard (via Jamie Oliver). Recently, the cookbook author schooled us on a beautiful and fragrant plant that we had no idea was edible — let alone that it could be pickled. But leave it to Oliver to share with his Instagram followers and lurkers alike that you can, indeed, pickle this flower that grows on shrubs and trees. 

Magnolia petals can be pickled

Oliver took to Instagram to share that you can pickle magnolia petals. The celebrity chef wrote, "Beautiful magnolia trees are flowering in all there [sic] glory but they're not just for looking at!! Yes they are edible and delicious and I have to say this pickle has blown my mind." Oliver notes that the pickled magnolia does wonders in rice dishes, noodles, and when paired with cured meats. He compares the flavor of magnolia to that of ginger. Our minds are blown too. Who knew? Well, Jamie Oliver knew, and well, maybe some other people on the internet. It hits the common knowledge box more than you might think.

A gardening column on The Guardian notes that different varieties of magnolias will have a slightly different taste when pickled. While some will remind you of ginger, others might taste more peppery. However, you should exercise a bit of caution when gathering your magnolia petals if you decide to emulate Oliver's pickling recipe. The writer reveals that older petals will have a bitter taste, and it is actually the young buds and flowers that will make your palate sing. And if you don't have magnolia flowers growing nearby, you could always try your hand at pickling dandelions, roses, or wild garlic buds. What a tasty way to enjoy spring a little longer.