One day, the famed Napa gardener Peter Jacobsen brought me a daylily. The flavor of the petals was delicious—sweet without being overly floral. After several attempts, I settled on this dish, in which beautiful raw spot prawns are chopped, stuffed inside the lily, and then roasted. The dish is garnished simply with caviar, lily bulb and lily petals, and wild onion. When asked which dish I am most happy with, I tend to say this one because of its showcasing of products, its succinct flavors, and its elegant presentation.
PICKLED LILY BULB
1 | lily bulb
500 grams | 2 cups water
50 grams | ¼ cup white wine vinegar
18 grams | 1 tablespoon kosher salt
150 grams | 5.3 ounces live spot prawns
3 grams | ¾ teaspoon Twin Sisters olive oil
Maldon sea salt
225 grams | ½ pound unsalted butter
8 | day lilies
50 grams | 1.8 ounces sturgeon caviar
12 | wild onion threads
FOR THE PICKLED LILY BULB:
Cut a slice off the top and the bottom of the lily bulb and pull apart the layers. Place the bulb layers in a bowl. Combine the water, vinegar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, let cool, and pour the liquid over the bulb layers. Let pickle at room temperature for 1 hour.
FOR THE SPOT PRAWNS:
Clean each prawn by removing the head first and then the shell from the body, working carefully so as not to tear the flesh. Reserve the shells. Devein each prawn, then cut the meat very finely into uniform dice and reserve in the refrigerator.